Knockout Seared Tuna Salad

August  2, 2022
2 Ratings
Photo by Melina Hammer
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

When first dreaming this up I thought of ceviche. However, the final dish—a carnival of flavors and textures—includes just-kissed-in-the-pan seared tuna steak, and it is perfect. Sweet cherries rollick with umami vinaigrette. Meaty tuna is given more verve, paired with crunchy fennel and creamy avocado. This dish can be literally thrown together at a moment’s notice, making it even more certain to become part of your back pocket summer repertoire. —Melina Hammer

What You'll Need
  • Vinaigrette
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Generous grinds of freshly ground pepper
  • Seared Tuna
  • 1 small fennel bulb (about 7 1/2 ounces), stems and base trimmed, quartered and very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup Bing cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic chives, or regular chives if you can’t find garlic chives
  • 1 9- ounces tuna steak, at least 1-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon chopped roasted salted pistachios, for sprinkling
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for sautéing
  • Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt
  1. Vinaigrette
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, vinegar, olive oil, and black pepper until emulsified.
  3. Toss the fennel and garlic chives in a medium bowl with just over half the vinaigrette (about 2 tablespoons). Save the remainder for later.
  1. Seared Tuna
  2. Pat dry the tuna and generously season with freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt.
  3. Drizzle olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet set over high heat and swirl to coat. Once the oil pulls to the edges of the pan, just shy of smoking, add the tuna, pressing down firmly on the steak, and lower heat to medium-high. Cook undisturbed for 2 minutes. Turn steak and sear on the second side for 1 minute for medium rare, 2 minutes for medium. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Halve the avocado and dice it into 1/2-inch chunks.
  5. Slice tuna across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices and divide evenly between two plates. Arrange the fennel, dividing it evenly between the two plates, then top the fennel with cherries and avocado. Drizzle another tablespoon of vinaigrette across the avocado and cherries (you may have extra), and scatter with chopped pistachios.

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Melina is the author of 'A Year at Catbird Cottage' with Ten Speed Press. She grows an heirloom and pollinator garden and forages wild foods at her namesake Hudson Valley getaway, Catbird Cottage. Melina loves serving curated menus for guests from near and far seeking community amidst the hummingbirds, grosbeaks, finches, and the robust flavors of the seasons.

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