Saturday, July 21, 2012

Seared Rare Tuna Salad with Chayote Slaw and Roasted Garlic-Green Chile Dressing

The Seared Rare Tuna Salad with Chayote Slaw from Everyday Mexican by Rick Bayless makes an easy and tasty summer dinner.  The recipe actually has a Guajillo Chile Dressing with it but Bayless mentions it also goes well with his Roasted Garlic Dressing with Green Chile, so that's the one I used.

Rick Bayless says, "Okay, I know this sounds like something off of a fusion restaurant menu, but some fusion dishes lay the foundation for new classics. You'll love the wonderful play of robust flavors and textures--a quick way to feel as if you've gone out to that cool new restaurant."

Seared Rare Tuna Salad with Chayote Slaw and Roasted Garlic-Green Chile Dressing 
Adapted From Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless
(Serves 4)

4 (about 1 1/4 lbs total) tuna steaks, nit less than 3/4 inch thick
2 chayotes
about 4 cups (loosely packed) arugula or thickly sliced romaine
a little chopped cilantro to finish the salad
Roasted Garlic Dressing with Green Chile (recipe below)
pumpkin seeds to garnish (optional)

Lightly brush skillet or grill pan with oil and heat on medium-high. Sprinkle both sides of the tuna with salt. Lay the tuna in the heated pan. When brown, no more than 1 minute, flip and sear the other side. (The higher the heat, the more golden the crust--without overcooking.) Remove the skillet from the heat. Thoroughly shake the dressing, then carefully drizzle on about 3 tablespoons dressing (it may spatter a bit when it hits the hot fan). Turn the tuna in the dressing from time to time as it cools.

Peel the chayotes, if you wish (the skin is so tender that peeling is optional). Cut them in half lengthwise; pry out the pits. Shred through the coarse holes od a large grater or with a mandoline (Finely shredded chayote looks sadly matted). Scoop into a bowl. Shake the dressing well, then toss the chayote with about 3 tablespoons dressing. Taste and season with salt.

Divide the greens among four plates, forming them into wide nests. Slice the pieces of tuna and nestle the pieces in the center of the greens. Top each plate with a portionof the chayote salad. Drizzle the tuna and greens with a little dressing. Sprinkle everything with cilantro (and some pepitas), and dinner is ready 


Roasted Garlic Dressing with Green Chile
From Mexican Everyday, Rick Bayless
(Makes about 1 cup)
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
Fresh hot green chiles to taste
3/4 cup olive oil or other oil, or mix
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Set a small dry skillet over medium heat. Lay in the unpeeled garlic cloves and the chiles. Roast, turning frequently, until soft and blotchy brown in spots, about 10 minutes for the chiles, 15 minutes for the garlic. Cool until able to handle, then slip the skins off the garlic and roughly chop the chiles (no need to remove the seeds).

Combine the garlic, chiles, oil, vinegar and a scant teaspoon of salt into a blender jar or food processor. Process until smooth. Taste and season highly with additional salt if necessary. Pour into a jar and secure the lid. Refrigerate until ready to use. Shake well immediately before pouring out.

Notes/Results: I was really happy with the different flavors and textures of this salad. The dressing has a creamy feel and a good kick from the roasted serrano chiles. The chayotes are crisp and refreshing bt if you don't have them in your area you could substitute with jicama or even green apple. For a little crunch, I topped my salad with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds--which I liked very much. My tuna slicing  won't win any awards--I was in a hurry and didn't pick the best knife but it definitely tastes much better than it looks! ;-) I would make both the salad and the dressing again.

It's Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs and you can see what Rick Bayless dishes everyone chose this week by going to the post and clicking on the links.

I am also sending this salad over to Easy Natural Food where Debbie hosts Summer Salad Sundays--a weekly seasonal event full of tasty salad inspirations.

Happy Weekend!


  1. This is exactly the kind of meal I would love to eat when I come visit one day! So fresh and alive, perfect for munching on in paradise. 

  2. This does sound interesting, and something I would love to try. I like the pumpkin seeds that you tossed in there. I have never use chayote in a salad before, I have always cooked them. They are so easy to pick up at the supermarket and very inexpensive too. it's a beautiful salad, looks fresh and inviting!

  3. Oh man, with the roasted garlic dressing, I'm all over this. What a beautiful, beautiful, dish! 

  4. Couscous & ConsciousnessJuly 21, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    I totally want to try this.  In New Zealand, chayote are called choko and I had no idea that you could eat them raw.  In fact I haven't eaten them since I was a kid, as I have such bad childhood memories of them - served overcooked, watery and tasteless and altogether horrible.  Can't wait to give them another try - I know I would love this dish.

  5. This salad sounds perfect for a quick, healthy delicious meal!  I was just thinking about chayotes yesterday actually and how I wanted to try them.  This is the perfect excuse!

  6. I love the purple against the green - that's a beautiful salad.  And I'm totally wanting to try that dressing. Delicious pick!

  7. Wow, that seared tuna looks AMAZING! That and the dressing makes this a salad a must make. Thanks Deb!

  8. Congratulations! I have chosen your salad as one of my featured salads this week! I have tweeted it, pinned it and shared it on my Facebook page. It will be featured on Summer Salad Sundays this coming Sunday. Thanks for linking up and I hope to see you again soon!

  9. Wow, what a gourmet looking salad!  I have to say I'm jealous about all the fresh fish you have there in Hawaii.  It looks beautiful.

  10. I like what Rick has to say about fusion dishes.  And how can you go wrong with roasted garlic and chile dressing?  Just getting to all the potluck links from last week--sorry it took me so long.


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)