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Grilled Ahi Tuna Steaks with Kale

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Posted by Mariah | Posted in Desserts, Main Dishes, Pastas, Salads | Posted on 01-02-2010

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Last week I passed a mini milestone on Twitter — 400 followers. To celebrate, I sent out a tweet to say I would create a custom, healthy recipe for follower 400. Healthy mom, @PickleSugarPlum, was the winner! I sent her a message to see what she liked, and she sent me back a pretty tall order that provided me with a nice challenge for this week’s post! Here were some of her criteria/preferences:

  • Something yummy and not $$
  • CHOCOLATE,meat=fresh grilled tuna, sushi, chicken, seafood veggies=carrots, peas, st’m'd broc, romaine, fresh spinach NO: pork, rice, fungus
  • I prefer fresh over canned, so things that are in season or readily available are best…year round options are even better! :)

I also wanted to find a dish that she could make once and then use for a couple other meals during the week. I decided to update one of my favorite grilled tuna recipes for @PickleSugarPlum by using fresh cilantro instead of basil. This recipe comes from the book How to Grill by Steven Raichlen. The reason I used cilantro is that this recipe is just the first in two recipes I’m going to create for @PickleSugarPlum, and cilantro will go better with the next recipe.

Depending on the size of her family, she should have some leftover tuna from this recipe, which she can use for the next recipe I’ll create.

As luck would have it, we were celebrating Sophia’s half birthday when I made this dish and she loves fish! So, paired with my homemade Mac n’ Cheese recipe, this turned out to also be the perfect birthday meal. In fact, my family declared it “the meal of the year” and both kids gobbled up every bite, including the kale. (Incidentally, this dish would probably go really well with the Spicy Peanut Pasta Salad featured in the Mac n’ Cheese post!)

Thanks again to @PickleSugarPlum for the inspiration AND the opportunity to update an old favorite. I’m looking forward to the next recipe … tomorrow.

Ingredients:

4 tuna steaks (3/4 to 1 inch thick; 6 to 8 ounces each)
1 bunch fresh cilantro, washed and stemmed
4 cloves garlic
3 strips lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon (3 to 4 tbsp.)
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (if not trying to cut down on fat, you can use 1 cup)
1 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. black pepper

For the Kale:

NOTE to @PickleSugarPlum: You can substitute fresh spinach if you’d rather have that than kale. :)

1 bunch fresh kale, stemmed and chopped
1 clove garlic, diced or pressed
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. dark sesame oil

Directions for Kale:

1. Heat oil on medium heat for one minute. Add garlic and toast until brown, stirring constantly.

2. Add kale and saute for five minutes until kale is wilted.

3. Sprinkle with sea salt. Add more salt to taste if needed.

4. Arrange on plate to serve under grilled tuna steaks.

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Directions for the Grilled Ahi Tuna Steaks

1. Trim off any dark or bloody spots from the tuna, then run under cold water and blot dry with paper towels. Arrange steaks in a container.

2. Combine the cilantro, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper in a food processor and puree until smooth. Pour this mixture over the tuna and let marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes to two hours, turning the tuna steaks several times.

3. Preheat your grill to high heat. When ready to grill, brush and oil the grill gate.

4. Drain the tuna steaks and arrange on the grill. Grill until cooked to taste, two to three minutes per side if rare, four to six minutes per side for medium, rotating the steaks 45 degrees after two minutes to create cross-cross grill marks.

5. Transfer the steaks to plates or a platter and let rest for three minutes, then serve with kale.