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Sicilian Rice Salad with Seared Tuna

The combination of fresh seafood with fennel, capers, and tomatoes is typical of Sicilian dishes.

  • servings: 6

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice
  • 3 lemons
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 6 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, core removed, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons marjoram leaves
  • 2 one-inch-thick tuna steaks, (1 1/2 pounds)
  • Olive-oil, cooking spray

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Place rice and 2 1/4 cups water in a medium saucepan, and bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook until rice is tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from heat. Using a fork, separate the grains of rice, and transfer rice to a large bowl. Grate 1 tablespoon zest from the lemons, and add the zest to rice. Set the rice aside.

  2. Step 2

    Squeeze the lemons, yielding 1/3 cup strained juice. Place 12 tomato halves, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a blender; blend until liquefied. With blender running, add olive oil in a slow, steady stream to the tomato dressing.

  3. Step 3

    Add yellow bell pepper, onion, fennel, the remaining tomato halves, capers, the remaining 5 tablespoons parsley, marjoram, and tomato dressing to rice; toss to combine.

  4. Step 4

    Coat a saute pan with cooking spray, and set over medium-high heat. Cut the tuna steaks into 1-inch-wide strips, and season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Place the tuna strips in hot pan, and sear on all sides until browned and medium rare, about 1 minute per side. Remove the pan from heat, and cut each strip into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Divide the rice salad and the tuna slices among six bowls, and serve immediately.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, April 1999

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