A Daily Dinner: Seared Tuna Steaks with New Potato Salad

Yellowfin Tuna with Potato Salad

Among the myriad of bad programming on Netflix’s Instant Watch, Ryan has discovered a cute English cooking show that we actually enjoy watching.

Jamie Oliver’s “Oliver’s Twist” is a little silly—especially the theme song—but it’s fun watching Oliver (a really talented chef who pushes to improve unhealthy diets and cooking skills) visit local markets and cook up fresh and easy meals for groups of his friends. This dinner was inspired by and adapted from one of the episodes.

Yellowfin tuna steak, yellow new potatoes, celery hearts and red onion

Yellowfin and Celery Hearts

The episode that inspired this post shows Oliver preparing yellowfin tuna with a new potato salad, filled with capers, red onion and celery hearts.

The idea of a big, lightly-seared yellowfin tuna steak paired with a salty potato salad sounded perfect to us, so I re-watched the episode at least three times to make sure that I did Oliver’s recipe a justice, as there aren’t any recipes online to accompany the show.

Tuna steaks at New York City's Lobster Place fish market

Ryan Smith purchases a tuna steak at Lobster Place in Manhattan

After a trip to our favorite fish market, Lobster Place, to pick up our gorgeous tuna steak (and admire the hundred different varieties of oysters, smelts, live sea urchins, and other ocean-y goodness), I like to think I prepared a version of Oliver’s dish that would make him proud.

(It made us proud either way.)

Yellowfin Tuna and Potato Salad

Seared Tuna Steaks with New Potato Salad

For the potatoes:
2 lbs. yellow new potatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
1/2 lemon
2 tbsp. capers
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 celery hearts

1. Bring a large salted pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes. Boil for about 15 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes and allow to cool.
2. Once cool, cut potatoes in half and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Add capers and red onion. Squeeze lemon on top.
4. Slice the yellow leaves from the celery hearts and add to the salad. Toss to blend.

New Potato Salad with Capers, Red Onion and Celery Hearts

For the tuna:
8 oz. yellowfin tuna steak
Kosher salt and pepper
Olive oil
Fresh basil

1. Heat a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, sprinkle tuna steak with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
3. Once pan is heated, cook tuna steak for about a minute on each side, until just seared. Set aside.
4. In a blender (or with a mortar and pestle), take a handful of basil leaves, olive oil and salt and blend until a paste forms. Season to taste.
5. Slice seared tuna, top with basil sauce and serve atop potato salad.

Yellowfin Tuna Steak with Basil Sauce

The tuna was perfect—delightfully pink in the middle, just warm enough on the outside, and perfectly accented by the basil—and the salad was perfect as well. Like Oliver explained in the episode, the mild, starchy potatoes go perfectly with the salty nip of capers and pungent aroma of fresh red onion.

Celery is probably one of my least favorite vegetables, but I actually enjoyed the addition of celery hearts in the salad. These tender yellow leaves are mild and have some celery flavor, but aren’t overpowering.

A yellowfin tuna steak topped with basil sauce

The whole meal was a perfect combination of flavors and textures that I certainly won’t hesitate to make again. If you even remotely like a good tuna steak, this is a must-try. Even the potato salad on its own makes a great quick side dish.

– Laura

11 thoughts on “A Daily Dinner: Seared Tuna Steaks with New Potato Salad”

  • Confession: I bought Oliver’s Twist on DVD when it first came out 🙂 I’m sort of obsessed with everything he does, including his shows, books and magazine. I think it’s the best food magazine out there since Gourmet folded.

    • I really like the things he has done for nutrition in schools—and am generally a fan of other things he has done. I had never heard of that series before finding it on Netflix, though. -RS

  • It sure looks delicious but tuna is on Greenpeace’s red list. Consider the high amount of heavy metals in the meat I think it’s better to look for an alternative.

    • We enjoy yellowfin and thus, we eat it in moderation, well aware of the issues surrounding it. Luckily, everyone is free to make their own decision as to an acceptable level of risk. (And I also don’t think another fish would substitute well in this dish.) -LR

  • When I first met my husband almost 12 years ago, I was the pickiest eater. I hated most vegetables, definitely no seafood.

    The first time he made me tuna steak and it came to the table all pink, I made him go back and cook it until it was all grey!

    I didn’t find out until my early 30’s that the reason I didn’t like most veggies or fish or seafood in general is because my Mom overcooked them. No fault to her, maybe that’s how she liked them!

    Now I love a perfectly seared tuna steak, and if I am without broccoli, spinach, zucchini or spaghetti squash, my kitchen feels naked! 😀

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