Rite of passage.

2.12.10 Guest writer Candace Conley of http://girlcancook.blogspot.com

My good friend, Tracey, is experiencing one of those rites of passage…not a rite for everyone but certainly for many of us. She has found herself (at fifty-wonderful) on her own…an unmarried woman. So to everyone who is going through similar circumstances, I share my therapy of cooking…doing it, talking about it and blogging about it. Certainly, not everyday (obviously) but when there is a time to say something I do and this is one of those times!

Now, on to the recipe…this is a “do something nice for yourself” meal. It is a wonderfully easy and delicious recipe for grilled tuna plus it’s super healthy!!

The tuna needs to be very fresh, preferably sushi-grade but stay away from all of those endangered ones…like bluefin, big eye, etc. The pesto and salsa are good with lots of different things so make the whole recipe and save it. You can freeze pesto, you know…get some of those old-fashioned ice cube trays, divide the pesto among the cubes, cover with foil or some wrap that won’t come off easily and slip it in the freezer. You then have individual servings of pesto whenever you want. Just pop it out of the tray and let it come to room temperature in a small container or plate on your counter. It will keep for months in the freezer! The salsa is so good…you’ll want to put it on everything so it won’t last long.

Grilled Tuna with Pesto and Mediterranean Tomato Salsa (for An Unmarried Woman)
You need to make the salsa and pesto before you grill the tuna…which you only want to sear.

2 lbs. tomatoes, ½ inch dice
6 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups loosely packed Italian parsley
½ cup loosely packed mint
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tbsp. olive oil (get a nice fruity one)
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
On a cutting board, pile up the tomatoes, onions, herbs and chile. Using a large knife, chop all ingredients together until they become salsa consistency…chopping is a great stress reliever. Transfer to a medium sized bowl and add lemon and lime juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

3 large garlic cloves
½ cup nuts (pecans, walnuts, pinenuts or any other nut you like)
2/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, coarsely grated
3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

With food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop. Stop motor and add nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, and basil, then process until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil, blending until incorporated.

One 6-ounce tuna steak, ¾ inch thick
Olive oil for brushing
Kosher salt and pepper
Light a grill (indoor or out). Brush the tuna steak with the olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper.
Grill tuna over moderately high heat until cooked to desired doneness. 1 minute per side for rare to medium rare; 2 minutes per side for medium.
Spoon salsa on plate, place tuna on salsa and top with a spoonful of pesto.

Pour yourself a glass of wine (Pinot Noir is great with tuna and these earthy flavors) and enjoy!

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