Grilled Tuna with Spicy Garden Salsa

Grilled Tuna with Spicy Garden SalsaSwimmin’ with the Fishes
Anytime the weather turns sunny and a smidge warmer, I tend to start eating more fish. Maybe it’s the looming promise of bathing suit season but at the first signs of spring, I feel the need to eat a bit lighter.

To say that I dramatically increase my fish intake would be a stretch. It’s a relative thing because I’m not a big lover of fish. I tend to gravitate more towards a cheeseburger.

When I do make fish, I like to go simple with a lot of flavor. That may sound contradictory but let me explain. If I had to pick my favorite fish recipe it would be this one, Salmon Roasted in Butter. It’s so quick to make and with some really fresh Salmon—it melts in your mouth.  One cannot live on Salmon alone, though. It would be boring.

Next best way to make fish? Grill it.

Not all fish does well on the grill. But, Tuna is one of them. Because they are hearty and firm, Tuna steaks are perfect for the grill, and are a great alternative to red meat. They even work well as a burger (for those times when you crave a burger but have to be good). And it happens more than you think…

I usually just brush on some olive oil and sprinkle the steaks with a little salt and pepper. If I want to brighten the flavor up a bit I will top them with mango salsa or even better, with real salsa.

Grilled Tuna with Spicy Garden Salsa
Adapted from Rick Bayless

For the Puree
6 large cloves of garlic unpeeled
3 jalapeño chiles, stemmed
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt, divided

4 tuna steaks (5 ounces each, about 3/4 inch thick)

For the Salsa
2 cups diced heirloom tomatoes
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped

Vegetable oil cooking spray

Make the Puree
Roast the garlic and jalapeños in a small, dry skillet set over medium heat. Turn them occasionally, until soft and blackened in spots (about 5 to 10 minutes for the jalapeños and 15 minutes for the garlic). Allow to cool, and peel the garlic.

Puree the roasted garlic, jalapeños, lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth.

Marinate the Fish
Scoop 1/2 cup of the puree into a 13″ x 9″ glass baking dish. Place fish on puree, flipping once to coat both sides. Cover dish; refrigerate 10 to 20 minutes to marinate.

Make the Salsa
Transfer the remaining puree into another bowl. Mix in the tomatoes. Rinse onion in a small strainer under cold water and drain. Add the onion to the tomato mixture. Next stir in the cilantro, mint, and basil. Season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Grill the Fish
Coat the grill with cooking spray and heat to medium-high (about 375°F). Remove the fish from the marinade and place on the grill. Cover the grill and cook the fish for 3 minutes. Uncover, flip the fish, cover again and cook until the fish is done(about 2 additional minutes more for medium-rare).

Transfer the fish to plates and spoon salsa on top.

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