Last Hurrah’s for the Waist Line


Fall- That time of year when the leaves get crunchy, the days get longer and the air gets decidedly cooler. As the north wind starts to howl, one needs a little something to warm the insides. We have been exploring the bounty of a fruitful harvest season lately, indulging in more than our share of stews or hearty dishes featuring meats and root vegetables of all sorts. It’s been wonderful experiencing the rich earthiness Mother Nature has so graciously provided us with as we scour the local farmers markets.

Maybe a little to wonderful as this entry is about a slight return to something much lighter, if only for a few days, before we indulge in that grand feast which is Thanksgiving and set sail on the annual glut of the holidays. You can call it a last ditch effort to hold on to some semblance of a healthy weight before packing on that extra layer of insulation to shield us from the harsh winter months.

In a last hurrah of health, I whipped up this light and easy little dish to even out the till and give our waist lines a breather before the gorge fest later this week.

Seared Tuna with Arugula Watercress Salad and Asian Dressing

Searing the tuna well on the outside but leaving it rare on the inside gives you a lovely contrast between the two textures. That said, if you like your tuna cooked through, the salad will still be delicious.

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon fish sauce

6 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)

2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger

1 tablespoons ground coriander

2 tablespoons nori fumi furikake

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 (1-lb) sushi-grade tuna steak (about 2 inches thick)

1 lb jicama, peeled

1 bunch arugula (8 oz)

1 bunches watercress (8 oz), tough stems discarded

  • Whisk together olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce and ginger.
  • Combine ground coriander, nori fumi forikake, and kosher salt in a small bowl.
  • Rub vegetable oil all over tuna, then coat with spice mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere.
  • Drizzle non-stick fry pan with extra virgin olive oil, then sear tuna, turning onto all sides, until seared on all sides but still very rare inside, 3-4 minutes total. Transfer tuna to a cutting board and cut across the grain into 8 slices.
  • Julienne jicama using an adjustable-blade slicer fitted with 1/8-inch julienne attachment or using a knife.
  • Toss arugula, watercress and jicama with drizzle with enough dressing to lightly coat, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve tuna over salad and garnish plate with asian watercress sauce(See Recipe). Serve remaining dressing on the side.

Cooks’ notes:

  • The tuna in this recipe will not be fully cooked.

SUGGESTED WINE PICKS:

2008 Lapostolle Casa Sauvignon Blanc

2007 Trimbach Reisling

2007  Schlumberger “Prince Abbes” PinotGris

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