Warm Salad of Thyme-Crusted Tuna & Arugula

  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. tuna steaks, 1” thick, cut into 4 portions
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 6 cups arugula, stems removed
  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut lengthwise into thin strips
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, slivered
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves, slivered

To make vinaigrette:  Whisk oil, vinegar, shallot and garlic in a small bowl.  Season with pepper. Set aside.

To make salad:  Rub oil all over tuna.  Sprinkle the tuna with pepper.  Press about 1 tsp. thyme leaves into each side.

Heat a large heavy skillet (not non-stick) over high heat until very hot.  Add the tuna and sear until browned and crusted on the bottom, about 2 minutes.  Turn the tuna over and cook until browned, about 2 minutes more for medium-rare.

Meanwhile, combine arugula, tomatoes, basil and mint in a large bowl.  Toss with reserved dressing.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Slice the tuna into 1/4” thick slices.  Divide the salad among 4 plates, mounding it to one side.  Fan the tuna slices around the salad.  Serve immediately.