Can you serve pesto with grilled tuna? Or would fresh salsa be better?



amysarah March 24, 2011
I think this is the kind of casual cooking where basically...rules schmules.

Fresh tuna, simply seasoned and grilled rare (crusty/seared outside and almost sushi-level rare inside - you can cook it more if you prefer) - sliced thin, fanned out on a plate and drizzled with a fairly loose pesto is delicious. One of my faves when I feel like springing for really good tuna.

In other 'green' sauces...Salsa Verde also works great with lots of grilled, roasted or poached fish, including tuna. I make it all summer when fresh herbs are abundant - the recipe I use (and sometimes tweak, e.g., add basil, depending on what I'm serving it with) is from The River Cafe Cookbook (Rogers and Gray):

* 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 medium clove garlic
* 3 anchovy fillets
* 1 tablespoon drained capers
* 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
* 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
* Salt
* Freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, place the chopped parsley and mint and add just enough oil to cover. Chop the garlic, anchovies and capers together and add to the parsley-mint mixture, stirring to combine. Add the mustard and vinegar, along with more oil to your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

I usually make about 5 times this amount, so I do the chopping in the processor - but avoid chopping too fine - it's not supposed to be pureed. (Anchovies and capers can be pretty salty, so keep tasting when adding add'l salt.)

Also great with grilled lamb, steak, veal chops - anything that can take a zesty, earthy sauce. A perfect summer dinner: roast or grill a whole side of salmon, (easy to do a bit ahead, as can be served at room temp), serve with a bowl of this stuff on the side. So good and an easy way to serve a crowd.
boulangere March 24, 2011
Aye, aye, RobertaJ, here and wherever we want to experiment with the *rules*!
RobertaJ March 24, 2011
If it suits *YOUR* palate (and that of the people you're feeding), then anything's an option. Who is anyone else to tell you what tastes good to YOU? If pesto and tuna floats your boat, go for it.
ATG117 March 24, 2011
Mango, red onion, avocado, parsley definitely comes to mind. But I make a salsa like topping that I love to serve alongside seared tuna: good cherry tomatoes, halved, kalamata olives, pits removed and roughly chopped, parsley, all doused in good olive oil. Let it hang out while you sear, or grill, the tuna, topping the final product to your hearts delight. Simple but great. Good ingredients are key.
pierino March 23, 2011
Student_Epicure's suggestion for salsa verde is a very good one, but omits one key ingredient; anchovies. Not a lot, maybe two filets of really good ones. I'd leave out the scallions though. If you use good quality anchovies your guests (who hate anchovies) won't even know they are in there. Goes great with tuna.
Nora March 23, 2011
When I read your question, my first idea was: mango. Further thoughts: mint, onion, lime, a few dashes of Chipotle Tabasco.
Tony S. March 23, 2011
Definitely! I make Ming Tsai's version of "Asian Pesto" and serve it with grilled shrimp or tuna. Very flavorful and spicy spin on traditional pesto- peanuts, cilantro, mint, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, lime, serranos... Yum!
Bevi March 23, 2011
I make a standard salsa that is wonderful with tuna. The avocado in the salsa goes very well with rare tuna:
EatArt March 23, 2011
try this pesto mixture on your tuna (also great on mahi mahi, snapper, etc.): macadamia nuts, maui onion, avocado oil, lemon thyme, chives, lemon juice. A pineapple salsa is also nice.
student E. March 23, 2011
i agree with MrsWheelbarrow and boulangere, you definitely can! you could also try making a salsa verde with scallions, italian parsley, garlic, lemon, capers and olive oil. i also am a fan of pesto made with equals parts basil, parsley, cilantro and combined with lemon, parmesan, and olive oil.
boulangere March 23, 2011
Why not? It's your kitchen! Afraid of the tuna police?
MrsWheelbarrow March 23, 2011
I have made pesto with pistachio nuts and parsley or Arucola, mix with some Panko and press on the tuna as a coating. Quick sauté in a hot griddle and rest, then slice and fan out over couscous... The tuna will be very rare. I haven't made this in a few years... I might have had a sauce... But my memory fails me!! Ha!
Recommended by Food52