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Grilled Tuna with Olive Salad
Grilled Tuna with Olive Salad Photo courtesy of Chris Granger Photographer

Tuna doesn't feature prominently into our everyday meals unless you count the occasional brown bag sandwich or the more frequent spicy sushi roll. New Orleans-based chef Donald Link, however, is set to change our ways by introducing us to a lesser used cut of tuna: the loin. At his new seafood-focused restaurant, Pêche Seafood Grill, the award-winning chef lets the meaty loin shine by seasoning it simply with salt and pepper and grilling it until tender. Link's accompanying olive salad proves a bright trimming to the fish and perfectly completes our new favorite tuna dish.

Makes 4 servings
Start to Finish: 40 minutes

Ingredients

Olive Salad

1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced

1 cup roughly chopped mixed pitted olives

¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Grilled Tuna

One 1½-pound tuna loin

Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Finishing salt, such as Maldon, for serving

Directions

1. Make the olive salad: In a medium bowl, combine the onion with the olives, parsley and garlic. Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar and sherry vinegar and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

2. Make the tuna: Pat the tuna dry with paper towels and very lightly coat it with olive oil. Season the tuna liberally with salt and pepper. Allow the tuna to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes to help the seasoning really adhere to the tuna and allow the interior to come up to room temperature.

3. Meanwhile, prepare a hot fire in your grill over direct heat. Lightly oil the grill grates. Place the tuna loin on the grill and cook, uncovered, until the exterior is firm and white and the interior is soft and gives easily when pressed, about 3 minutes per side.

4. Transfer the fish to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the tuna on a bias across the grain and divide among 4 plates. Spoon a generous amount of the olive salad over the fish and season with the finishing salt. Serve immediately.

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • Can't find tuna loin? You could also serve the olive salad with tuna steaks. (Link prefers the loins because they are easier to grill evenly.)

  • The olive salad can be made a day ahead and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

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