Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Simple Mediterranean Feast

The Mediterranean culture celebrates friends and family around the table.

Pan -seared mini Tuna Steaks with a 'Mediterranean Salsa'

Today, my job is to create a Mediterranean-style entree (Tuna) and a salad for a lunch.  I did my homework yesterday and read up just the basic essence of Mediterranean cuisine and here is what I came up with.  I wanted to create a light, summery, refreshing and easy-to-eat dish.  

I set out to create these two dishes equipped with a bottle of good olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a few lemons, fresh basil, fresh garlic, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives and capers.  Additionally, for the salad I had some romaine lettuce, red onions, cucumber and feta cheese.  I was grateful that produce at this time of the year is plentiful, fresh and fairly inexpensive.  I think it is important to get the best and freshest produce
for this meal so I went to two stores to check out for the best.  I decided to get olives and capers from the olive bar instead of canned ones.

Coat tuna or fish of choice with some olive oil, thyme, freshly cracked pepper and some salt.  I seared the steaks over high heat in an iron skillet with some olive oil to about medium well (feel free to choose your own preference of doneness for the fish).   Dish meat to a platter and when ready to serve, pour the 'salsa' over fish.

My kitchen was full of the aroma of olive oil, fresh vegetables and herbs.  I think I may have succeeded in capturing the Mediterranean  flavors. 

'Mediterranean Salsa' :
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
1 cup kalamata olives
1/2 cup capers
1/2 cup fresh chiffonade basil or few sprigs of fresh oregano (tear or chopped into small pieces)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup olive Oil
Salt to taste (optional as the olives and capers are already salty)

Greek Salad
  • 1 head romaine salad (about 1 lb.), washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup kalamata olives
  • 1 seedless English cucumber,  cut into 1" chunks
  • 12 oz. vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small red onion, cut into thin wedges (for a milder flavor, soak in cold water for 5 mins. and drained)
  • 1 cup Feta cheese (6 oz.)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 - 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. dry oregano or 2 tsp. fresh
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • salt to taste
Whisk  all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and set aside.
When ready to serve, toss all the vegetables in a big bowl and add in the salad dressing.
Enjoy and bring some Mediterranean flavors to your dinning table !

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