Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: tuna

 

Spiced Tuna Fillets

2 servings

Spice Blend:
1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Tuna:
2 tuna fillets 1/2 inches thick
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt to taste
Lemon wedges

Directions

To prepare the spice blend, grind all spices in a mini-food processor or spice grinder until they are powdery. Spread the spice mixture evenly on a large plate.

Rinse the tuna fillets and pat dry. Place one side of each piece of tuna into the spice mixture. Shake off any excess.

 

In a 10-inch non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Carefully place the tuna fillets, spiced side down, into the skillet. A spice crust should form within 1 minute. Cook another minute. Using kitchen tongs, turn over the tuna, lower the heat to medium, sprinkle with salt, and cook for 2-3 minutes to the desired doneness. Swerve with lemon wedges.

 


Easy Three Cheese Mac & Cheese

You can prepare this dish early in the day and refrigerate covered with plastic wrap without the breadcrumb topping. Remove from the refrigerator one hour before baking and add the breadcrumb topping.

Ingredients

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces fusille pasta
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 cup diced Velveeta cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter an 8-inch baking dish.

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for about 5 minutes, 3 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain.

In the empty pot, combine the cream, Gruyère, cheddar, Velveeta, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the hot pasta and stir well. Turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Combine the panko crumbs with the butter and sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Baked Zucchini

Ingredients

2 medium zucchini trimmed and cut into ½- inch cycles
2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1! 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Directions

Oil a baking dish. Bake the zucchini in a 400-degree F oven with the dish of macaroni and cheese.
Combine the zucchini slices with the seasonings. Mix well. Arrange the slices overlapping each other in the prepared baking dish. Drizzle with the oil. Place the dish in the oven after the macaroni has baked for 15 minutes. Bake the zucchini for 15 minutes/

 

 


Tuna Patties

Ingredients

2- 4 ounce cans of Italian tuna in olive oil
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons chives, chopped
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1/4 cup all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
1 egg
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salad

Salad greens
Sliced red onion
Sliced tomato
Kalamata Olives
Hardboiled Eggs
Pita bread
Italian salad dressing

Tzatziki Sauce

1 cucumber, peeled
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup fresh dill, stems removed
2 cups Greek yogurt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press or finely minced

Directions

For the tuna patties
Place the tuna and its oil in a bowl, and add all the ingredients except the 2 tablespoons of flour and the olive oil. Mix well.
Place the 2 tablespoons of flour on a small plate. Form medium-sized patties, place them in the flour, and cover them lightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to cook.


Heat a frying pan on medium heat and add the olive oil. Cook the patties for about 7 minutes on each side until lightly brown.

For the salad plate

Line individual plates with shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, red onion, olives, and sliced hard boil egg. Drizzle the plates lightly with your favorite Italian dressing. Place the 2 patties on each plate. Add a scoop of Tzatziki sauce a pita bread.

For the tzatziki sauce

add a handful of feta cheese to the sauce for more flavor/

Grate cucumber into a colander resting over a bowl. Sprinkle salt on grated cucumber. Let this sit for about 15 minutes.
Chop the dill and then add it to a bowl with the Greek yogurt, olive oil, and pressed garlic. Mix well.
Squeeze the water out of the cucumber in a kitchen towel or paper towel and then add to the tzatziki. Salt, to taste. Refrigerate for several hours.


 

Classic French Nicoise Salad

For 4 servings

Ingredients

1 pound red-skinned potatoes, cooked, sliced 1/3 inch thick
10 ounces haricots verts or thin green beans, trimmed, cooked al dente
4 large hard-boiled eggs
8 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 head Boston lettuce, leaves separated
4 large radishes, trimmed and sliced
¼ of a cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 jarred roasted red pepper cut into strips
2 5 1/2-ounce cans of Italian tuna packed in olive oil, drained
1/2 cup Nicoise olives
French baguette, warmed

HERB VINAIGRETTE:
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 shallot, chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon honey
8 fresh basil leaves
¼ cup parsley
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Make the dressing: Whisk the vinegar, shallot, mustard, honey, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until emulsified.

Divide the lettuce among 4 plates. Arrange the potatoes, green beans, radishes, hard-cooked eggs, and tuna on top in an attractive pattern. Add the remaining ingredients and drizzle with the dressing.

 


Tuna Steaks

2 servings

Ingredients

2 5-oz. boneless, skinless wild-caught yellowfin tuna steaks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup green olives, such as Cerignola
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

Season the tuna with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Shake off any excess.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the tuna in the skillet in a single layer and cook, turning once, until done to your liking (3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare). Transfer the tuna to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallot to the skillet. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, olives, basil, and a few grinds of pepper; cook until warmed through and the tomatoes are just softened, about 2 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and gently stir in the lemon juice.
Return the tuna steaks to the skillet to warm over low heat.

Serve with the sauce and a pasta side dish.

Lemon Green Bean Pasta


Ingredients

6 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
6 whole fresh San Marzano tomatoes
8 basil leaves fresh, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
Flour
2 tuna fillets, 5-6 oz each
Kosher or Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
12 kalamata olives pitted, left whole
1 tablespoon capers rinsed

3 oz cooked thin spaghetti

Directions

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil.
Add the onion and saute until it begins to soften about 3 minutes.
Add the minced garlic and saute until golden, about 2 minutes longer.
Stir in the tomatoes, basil, and 2 tablespoons of the parsley and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside.

Lightly season the tuna steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge each fillet in flour.
In another skillet, large enough to hold the fish in a single layer, warm the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.
Add the floured tuna to the skillet, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides, about 2 – 3 minutes per side.
Pour the reserved sauce directly over the fish, reduce the heat to low, and add the olives and capers, and cook for another 5 minutes.
Divide the cooked pasta between two serving plates. Place tuna and sauce over the pasta and garnish with parsley.

Serve with Roasted Broccoli.


Tuna Coating
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground fennel
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon flour

Tuna
2 tuna fillets about 1 lb total
1 tablespoon olive oil

Peppers and Onions
1 cup sliced Italian Frying Peppers
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 garlic glove, smashed
1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
Coarse sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Beans
One 15 ounce can cannellini or navy beans, drained, rinsed or ½ cup dried beans soaked overnight and cooked. (See recipe below)
1/2 cup jarred baby artichoke hearts, cut in half
1/2 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

For the peppers and onions
Heat oil in a large deep skillet and add the garlic clove. Add the peppers and onions. Saute until tender about 5-6 minutes. Add the mint and season with coarse salt and pepper. Remove from the skillet and place on a serving platter.

For the tuna
Combine the coating mixture in a shallow dish.
Rinse the fillets in cold water, letting the water drip off but don’t dry the fish.
Coat the tuna fillets in the coating mixture.

Add the 1 tablespoon oil and heat. Carefully place the tuna fillets into the skillet. A spice crust should form within 1 minute. Using a wide spatula, turn the tuna fillets over, lower the heat to medium, and cook for 2-5 minutes to the desired doneness. Place the cooked tuna on the bed of onions and peppers.

For the beans
Heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the remaining ingredients. Heat over low just until hot. Serve with the tuna fillets.

How To Cook Dried Beans

Ingredients

8 ounces (1 cup) dried beans
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled, lightly smashed
Half a serrano or jalapeño pepper seeded, or 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 to 4 fresh thyme sprigs or ½ teaspoon dried
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

Place the beans in a large saucepan, add enough cool water to cover by 1½ inches, and soak overnight at room temperature. Drain.
Place the soaked beans in a large saucepan with water to cover by 1½ inches. Add the onion, garlic, chili, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a low boil over moderate heat, then reduce the heat to low. Cook the beans at a bare simmer until they are just tender but not mushy, about 30-45 minutes. If necessary, replenish the water, so that it stays 1 inch above the top of the beans. Halfway through the cooking time, stir in the salt.

Remove from the heat. If you are using them right away, drain the beans. Remove and discard the onion, garlic, chili, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. If you are not using the beans immediately, allow the beans to cool in their cooking liquid before draining. (Keep the cooking liquid to reheat the beans or to use in many of the recipes that follow.) You can keep beans, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.


Tuna Steak

2 servings

Rub
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon rosemary sea salt

Tuna
16-ounce tuna steak (1 inch thick)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt

Directions

To prepare the spice blend, grind all spices in a mini-food processor or spice grinder until they are powdery. Spread the spice mixture evenly on a large plate. I used half the rub for one tuna steak. save the remainder for another time.

Rinse the tuna fillets and pat dry. Place one side of the tuna on the spice mixture.
In a 10 inch non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Carefully place the tuna steak, spiced side down, into the skillet. A spice crust should form within 1 minute. Cook 3 minutes more. Using kitchen tongs, turn the tuna over, lower the heat to medium, and cook for 4 minutes or to your desired doneness.


To plate
Cu the tuna steak into two equal portions and place on individual serving plates. Place a handful of arugula on each plate and top with bean salad. Serve the Tzatziki sauce on the side.

Cannellini Bean Salad

Ingredients

1 (15.5 ounces) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed ( or 2 cups cooked dried beans; directions below)
1 cup frozen and cooked or jarred in water artichoke hearts
1 cup sliced fresh grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 cups arugula

Dressing
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions

In a serving bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients. Add the cooked or canned beans, sliced artichokes, sliced tomatoes, and red onion. Stir into the dressing. Refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving and let stand at room temperature until serving time.

How to cook dried beans

1 Pound Dried White Beans (Cannellini)
Pinch Baking Soda
Carrot, Cut In Half
1 Celery Stick, Cut In Half
1/2 Onion, Peeled And Quartered
1 Sprig Rosemary

Directions

The night before serving, rinse the beans picking out any bad ones and place in a large bowl. Cover with water, add a pinch of baking soda and let soak at least 12 hours.

The next day, drain well. Place the beans in a heavy stockpot with the vegetables and rosemary and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the beans are tender about 45 minutes. Drain, remove the vegetables and rosemary sprig.

Tzatziki with Feta

Ingredients

Half of an English cucumber, unpeeled
1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup crumbled Greek feta cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon Greek seasoning

Directions

Seed and finely chop the cucumber. In a medium bowl, stir together the cucumber and yogurt. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.


Panzanella

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small country bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small clove garlic, grated
11/2 lbs ripe, meaty tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 3-1/2 cups)
Half an English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed

For the vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon grated garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For the bread preparation:
Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread cubes and a sprinkle of salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette:
Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

For the salad:
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, mint, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

Italian Style Grilled Tuna

For 2-3 servings

Ingredients

12 oz fresh tuna fillets (albacore and yellowfin, 1/2-inch thick, cut into serving pieces
1/2 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 clove garlic, grated
1/2 tablespoon each of coarse salt and coarse black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for coating the tuna

Directions

Combine the lemon zest, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Drizzle olive oil over the tuna fillet and rub the herb and garlic mixture into the fish, coating evenly on all sides. Let stand 10 minutes.

Heat an outdoor grill or a stovetop grill pan.
Grill tuna steaks 4-5 minutes on each side over medium-high heat. Serve with the salad.


The idea for this tomato-based seafood stew comes from the fisherman from Genoa who immigrated to the US and settled in the Bay area of California. Cioppino was developed in San Francisco by these Italian immigrants who prepared a fish stew with what they had on their fishing boats from their daily catch.

Legend has it that requests were made as the boats came in for the day asking for any seafood to “CHIP IN ” to the pot; add Italian seasoning and hence the name: Cioppino (chip-EEN-o). Most food historians and cookbook authors don’t even try to fix the recipe in time, although all point to San Francisco as the place of origin. Cioppino wasn’t well-known beyond the Bay area (or at least outside of California) until after World War II. John Thorne…describes in the September/October 1996 issue of his newsletter, Simple Cooking, how he came upon a vintage (1921) cookbook that discusses cioppino in detail. That book, Fish Cookery, by Evelyn Spencer of the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries and John N. Cobb, director of the College of Fisheries at the University of Washington, offers a recipe for cioppino that had appeared three years earlier by H.B. Nidever in California Fish and Game. Thorne believes that it may be one of the first, if not the first, ever published.

In 1925 Nunzio Alioto, an Italian immigrant, set up a stall at #8 Fisherman’s Wharf to sell lunchtime provisions to the Italian laborers. His business grew and by 1932 he had constructed the first building at the corner of Taylor and Jefferson, by combining the fish stand with a seafood bar. After Nunzio passed away unexpectedly, his widow Nonna Rose and her three children took over the stall. In 1938 she installed a kitchen in the original structure and officially opened Alioto’s Restaurant. Their specialty was Cioppino.

Here is my version that I have developed over the years and one that suits my family’s taste.

Italian American Seafood Stew (Cioppino)

Serve with a green salad and some crusty Italian bread for dipping in the delicious sauce.

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups fish stock
2 cups chopped Italian tomatoes in juice, crushed
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
2 pounds firm, skinless fish fillets (such as red snapper, grouper, swordfish, tuna, mahi-mahi or halibut), cut into bite-size pieces
1 lb shrimp, deveined
1 lb sea scallops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup white wine
2 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed and soaked to remove the sand

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch Oven over medium-high. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Sauté 10 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, bay leaf, Italian seasoning, fish stock, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer the sauce for about 30 minutes.

Add the wine to a large deep skillet and bring to a boil. Add the clams, turn the heat to a simmer and cover the pan. Remove the clams as they open to a covered bowl. Discard any clams that do not open. Strain the juices in the skillet through a fine mesh colander. Set aside the clams and the strained cooking liquid.

Next add the fish pieces and shrimp to the tomato sauce, pushing them down into the liquid a little. Cover the pot and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the scallops and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the opened clams and strained wine and heat for a minute or two.

Immediately scoop the stew into large bowls, garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with Italian bread.


Grilled Tuna Au Poivre

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 tuna steak, about 8 oz; 1/2″ thick
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns, crushed
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Sea Salt to taste
Basil Parmesan Cream Sauce, recipe below

Directions

Heat an indoor grill pan over high heat. Brush the pan with the melted butter. Thoroughly pat the tuna steaks dry with paper towels.
Season the tuna steak lightly with salt and press in the crushed peppercorns on both sides of the tuna.


Grill the tuna steak for 2 minutes per each side. Give the tuna steak a quarter turn and grill two minutes. Turn the tuna steak over. Grill two minutes more. (For a total of 6 minutes.).
Place the tuna steak on a serving dish, cut in half and pour a little basil cream sauce over the tuna. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.

Basil Parmesan Cream Sauce

Ingredients

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light (half & half) cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a food blender, combine basil, garlic, salt and olive oil. Process for about 40 seconds, or until mixture begins to emulsify. Pour the light cream into the blender and pulse for 20 seconds to incorporate. Pour into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, be careful to not let the mixture boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice and grated parmesan cheese. Set aside while you cook the tuna.

Sautéed Yellow Squash Noodles

Feel free to use cooked spaghetti in place of squash noodles.

2 servings

Ingredients

2 yellow squash
1 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Use the thin julienne setting on a mandoline. a spiralizer or a sharp knife to slice the yellow squash into thin strips similar to spaghetti. Next, the “noodles” need to dry out or the texture will be mushy when you saute them. Ideally, leave them on your counter on double thickness of paper towels for at least 3 hours.

If you want to prep the dish in the morning for dinner, wrap the noodles in paper towels and place them in a plastic ziplock bag. After the noodles set and lose some of their moisture, warm the olive oil and garlic in a skillet and saute the noodles just a few minutes to heat and coat with oil. Season with salt * pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve with the grilled tuna and cream sauce.

Tomato Salad

4 servings

Ingredients

1 1 /2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
14 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 large ripe beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2″ slices
1 tablespoon rinsed capers
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh herbs to taste

Directions

Combine shallots, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil to blend.
Set vinaigrette aside.
Arrange tomatoes on a large platter. Sprinkle capers over; season with salt and pepper. Scatter herbs on top. Whisk vinaigrette again and drizzle over the tomatoes before serving.



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