Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth

Asian Niçoise Salad with Seared Black Sesame Tuna

How many times, in the midst of the endless food of the holidays, have you wished for a simple salad? After a second helping of turkey, bowls of creamy mashed potatoes piled high with rich gravy and a larger-than-you-really-needed slice of decadent pumpkin pie for dessert, sometimes a salad sounds downright divine.

For those momentary healthful cravings, this salad is perfection. It’s not just an ordinary Niçoise salad (which usually contains canned tuna fish), but instead features slices of black-sesame-crusted tuna atop a bed of bright baby greens and tossed with an Asian-style wasabi vinaigrette.

As if this salad wasn’t good enough, want to add something magical to it? Try adding fried bean threads for an irresistible crunch. You can purchase bean threads (also called glass noodles or Chinese vermicelli) in most major grocery stores. They are delicate noodles made from mung bean starch. Here’s the magic part: when deep-fried (we recommend an inch or so of oil heated to 350ºF), they puff up instantly into airy, crunchy garnishes. They are a wonderful textural addition to this salad or other Asian dishes such as stir-fries and lettuce wraps.

Asian Niçoise Salad with Seared Black Sesame Tuna

Ingredients

For dressing:

  • 1 teaspoon Spice Islands Wasabi Powder or other instant wasabi powder
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Coriander
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

For tuna:

For salad:

  • 6 ounces haricot verts (French green beans) or green beans, trimmed
  • 6 ounces mixed baby greens
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together wasabi powder and rice vinegar. Let sit 5 minutes to allow the flavors to fully develop. Whisk in soy sauce, sesame oil and coriander. Drizzle in canola oil, whisking vigorously until emulsified and combined.
  2. Preheat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  3. Season all sides of tuna steaks with salt and pepper. Pour sesame seeds onto a small rimmed plate. Lay tuna steaks into sesame seeds, coating all sides with an even layer. Add tuna to hot skillet and sear for about 1 to 2 minutes per side. You can choose to cook the tuna for slightly more or less time depending on desired doneness. Cooking for 30 seconds per side will give you the smallest opaque border with a bright pink, raw center. Slightly longer, more like 2 minutes, will give you a barely pink center.
  4. Transfer tuna to a cutting board and, with a sharp knife, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices.
  5. Meanwhile, place green beans in a lidded, microwave safe dish with about 1 cup of water. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes (3 minutes if using regular green beans), until bright green and tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Toss beans with 1 tablespoon of dressing.
  6. Toss greens and half of the remaining dressing and divide among serving bowls. Top with cherry tomatoes, green beans and tuna slices. Drizzle tuna with remaining dressing and serve.
Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth

About Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth

Husband and wife team LINDSAY LANDIS and TAYLOR HACKBARTH are entrepreneurs by day, running a web and graphic design business out of their home in Nashville, Tennessee. By night they cook, bake, and eat all manner of delicious things. Their food blog, Love & Olive Oil (http://www.loveandoliveoil.com), chronicles their culinary adventures in and around the kitchen. Lindsay is the author of The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook (June 2012, Quirk Books), and their next book, a joint endeavor entitled Breakfast For Dinner, is set to be published in February of 2013.
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