Weird title right? Well that is exactly what this post is about …tuna tartar, orzo and roasted vegetable salad, and okay, also a warm mushroom goat cheese salad and homemade pita chips. Sorry…I’m getting ahead of myself here! Just so excited to share these meals with you!
So yes, I’ve moved to Brooklyn. But I’m back tracking a bit now…before I left my home in T.O., I did cook two special dinners I’ve yet to share. I’m so excited to now have my pictures loaded and ready to go!
First dinner will be titled: Tuna Date Night. The husband (Adam, in case you’re unfamiliar) and I settled on a special date night menu: Warm mushroom goat cheese salad, tuna tartar, and homemade pita chips. Let’s start with the appetizer shall we…the salad.
Here are the ingredients for the salad ready to go: Mushrooms (whatever kind floats your boat), red onions, sun dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, EVOO, and un-pictured goat cheese and spinach. Now I’m sad (and happy!) to report there really was no recipe! I put this together all by myself but I will give you a play by play.
After you slice up all the ingredients, pre-heat a non stick skillet over medium/medium-high heat and add some oil. Next, add onions and mushrooms and saute until nice and brown and tender. Then add sun dried tomatoes to heat up a bit. Then add some balsamic vinegar and then pour everything over a pile of spinach. Top with some goat cheese and you have the most delicious salad in the world! Okay…maybe not in the world (I do love Terroni’s fungi salad) but pretty good.
Next up, the star of the show…the tuna tartare. This recipe comes from Bonnie Stern’s Best of Heart Smart. This is my go-to-all time favourite-most used cookbooks. Can you tell I like it? Everything I’ve made from it has turned out great, and this tuna was no exception. Just please make sure to buy fresh fresh fresh tuna!
Grilled Tuna Tartar with Avocado (From Bonnie Stern’s Best of Heart Smart)
1/2 lb tuna
1 tsp sesame oil
salt and pepper
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp green onions
2 tbsp chopped cilantro (I left this out)
1/2 ripe avocado
Pat tuna dry and brush with sesame oil and season with salt and pepper. Pre-heat non stick skillet over medium high heat and sear tuna about 1 minute per side until it looks like this.
Perfectly rare and pink/red on the inside and seared on the outside. DO NOT OVERCOOK YOUR TUNA!!!!!! Dice tuna into small pieces and place in bowl. Add vinegar, soy sauce, green onions and cilantro (if using) and toss gently. Just before serving peel and mash avocado and add to bowl with tuna. Taste and add salt and pepper as required.
Bonnie Stern suggests to have rice crackers with this tuna but Adam had a craving for pita chips. Not any old pita chips from the bag but homemade pita chips. Again, no real recipe needed and these are so easy and I have to say, better than the one’s from the bag.
Just take your favourite pita and cut it into triangles and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Spray with some oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and sesame seeds (or really, any seasonings you like). Place in oven at 400 degrees for about 5-8 minutes until brown and
crisp. Now I know what some of you are thinking….where’s the orzo?? Wasn’t the blog title tuna and orzo? Well here it comes! I had a lovely group of friends over for dinner before I left and I was looking for a side-dish that could feed a crowd and be served at room temperature and this roasted vegetable orzo salad hit the bill. This recipe is from one of my fave food network ladies, The Barefoot Contessa (AKA Ina Garten). I did adapt the recipe a bit as Ina has a tendency to use more salt, fat, and sugar than I’m comfortable with. And I added some more veggies because, why not?
Roasted Vegetable Orzo Salad (Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa)
1/2 pound orzo, cooked according to package direction
1 eggplant, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
2 zucchini, diced
1 bunch asparagus, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
4 green onions, minced
10-15 basil leaves, Julienne
1/4-1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4-1/3 cup lemon juice (Fresh only please!)
2 tbsp olive oil
Mix vegetables in a bowl with oil, garlic, salt and pepper and spread on parchment lined baking sheets and bake in 425 degree oven for about 40 minutes. Mix with orzo and add dressing and let cool. Once cool, add basil, green onions, and pine nuts and season with salt and pepper.
Colourful, flavourful, and definitely feeds a lot of people! You could also top it with feta or goat cheese and would be delicious. Throw in a can of chickpeas and you have a complete vegetarian meal.
Woowee that was a long post! I’m now done updating you on my PB (pre-brooklyn) cooking adventures and will return with my restaurant reviews and eating experiences here so far. Off to continue unpacking….who wants to come over and help????