Sicilian Rice Salad with Seared Tuna
The combination of fresh seafood with fennel, capers, and tomatoes is typical of Sicilian dishes.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.