white bean, artichoke, tuna, and egg salad :: by radish*rose

white bean, artichoke, tuna, and egg salad

If I might make an observation, IT’S FULL-ON SUMMER here!  So maybe you don’t feel like cranking up the oven. Instead, you might want a light but hearty, protein-filled salad for dinner. And wouldn’t it be great if you could make it from items you can keep handy in the pantry, with a few fresh ingredients to liven things up?  A tip: put all your canned ingredients in the fridge before you leave for work.  Then when you get home, throw this together, and it will already be chilled and you can nom-nom it right away!  This is a super-flexible recipe, so if you haven’t got hard-cooked eggs or artichoke hearts already at hand, just leave them out or sub in something else you do have that you think would be nice.  It will be OK. Promise. Continue reading

tuna steaks with sesame ginger dipping sauce :: by radish*rose

grilled tuna steaks with sesame ginger dipping sauce

Since we are urban apartment-dwellers, grilling = broiling for us. It’s like an upside down grill! Or at least ours is, because the heat source (flame) points down from the top of the oven – not everyone’s broiler is the same. Check yours out.

We made this on a cast-iron, enameled grill pan (like this) to get a nice sear and the grill marks on it (which serve a purpose – searing protein creates a Maillard reaction which intensifies umami, also known as savoriness). It helps a lot if you heat your grill pan up under the broiler, place your food on it (it will sizzle!) then put it back in the broiler. Nice! These tuna steaks are a hearty treat. We probably could have made them a little less well-done, which we will try next time. The dipping sauce is pretty intense, especially if you add wasabi – you gotta try it. Wasabi nose, whee!!  (That feeling you get when the wasabi heat goes up in your nose! Ever notice how chile heat affects your mouth and lips but wasabi heat affects your nose? Know why? Me neither!) Continue reading

fancy tuna pasta with lemon, capers and pine nuts :: by radish*rose

fancy tuna pasta with lemon, capers, and pine nuts

What’s fancy tuna?  Fancy tuna, at least in my head, is the kind from Spain packed in olive oil:

fancy tuna packed in olive oil :: by radish*rose
fancy tuna packed in olive oil :: by radish*rose

I always would see these pretty cans in gourmet shops like Grand Central Market or Eataly and think, “But it’s packed in olive oil. HOW DECADENT. What on earth do you do with that?”

I am happy to report that it is indeed decadent, but guess what.  It makes perfect sense in pasta sauce.  You would probably be adding some olive oil to your pasta sauce anyway, so why not start with the fancy tuna in olive oil and only need to add a little more? Continue reading