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Recipe of the Week: Farmers Market Salad with Fresh Tuna Steaks

By Staff | Mar 26, 2019

Chef Loretta Paganini

If you are looking for a fun and free outing to do with the family on a lazy Sunday morning while visiting Sanibel, join the locals and visitors alike at the popular farmers market, located near the public library and Sanibel City Hall just off Periwinkle Way on Dunlop Road. You can stroll, sip, shop and sample the many local foods and specialties with so many choices that it will make your head spin. A selection of fresh fish, organic fruits and vegetables, cheeses, fresh guacamole, jams, made-to-order wood burning pizza, fresh brewed coffee, sweet treats and breads of all type and sizes, an incredible selection of prepared foods and even health and beauty products are available for purchase. But in my opinion what makes this outdoor market so inviting and special is the people you meet while perusing each stand. Smiling shoppers always eager to chat and friendly vendors ready to recommend their latest product and give you cooking advice. On Sundays, I look forward to going there and shopping for the freshest ingredients, visiting with my favorite vendors and meeting with old friends. I always fill at least a couple of large bags and I enjoy my purchases for the rest of the week. This week’s recipe is a delicious dinner salad using a variety of vegetables and fresh tuna steaks that you can purchase at the market. A word of advice though, if you decide to visit the farmers market, make sure you get there early to secure a good parking space and be guaranteed the best selection – but most important don’t forget to bring your appetite, you will need. Serves four. (Chef tip: Cook fish five minutes per side for each inch of thickness.)

4 small white potatoes, scrubbed and cut into eighths

1/3 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into two-inch lengths

1 roasted red pepper, peeled and diced

1 avocado, peeled and diced

1 bunch scallions, trimmed, minced

1/2 teaspoon capers, drained and rinsed

1/3 cup pitted and chopped black olives

4 4-ounce fresh tuna steaks

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced

2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 romaine hearts, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips


1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the vinaigrette: Whisk the honey, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest, white balsamic vinegar and salt together in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and set aside until ready to use. Whisk it again briefly just before using. Taste and adjust seasoning.

For the tuna: Marinade the tuna in half of the vinaigrette in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Heat the grill and grill on each side for five minutes. Depending on thickness. Reserve.

For the salad: Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until they are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove and chill. Add the beans and cook an additional 10 minutes until the beans are tender. Drain and cool under cold running water. Place potatoes and green beans for in a bowl and toss with the vinaigrette.

Add the red pepper, scallions, olives and capers to the potatoes and beans and toss to combine. (Salad can be made ahead to this point. Keep at room temperature no longer than two hours before finishing the recipe.) Just before serving, mix the chopped tomatoes, avocado and toss. Taste and add more dressing if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, divide the lettuce among four plates. Top each with the vegetable mixture and grilled tuna and serve immediately.