Showing posts with label white balsamic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label white balsamic. Show all posts

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Red Camargue and Wild Rice Salad with Tuna

This easy, healthy Red Camargue and wild rice salad is made with red Camargue and wild rice, yellow peppers and avocado. Serve it on your favorite mixed greens, topped with well-seasoned seared fresh tuna. It's light and refreshing but makes a satisfyingly filling meal.

All too often when I think of rice and dinner, it’s usually basmati or risotto that springs to mind. But occasionally, when my protein is unusual, like spice-encrusted tuna, something with more verve and bite is needed.

Always on the lookout for new and unusual starches, I brought home a bag of red Camargue and wild rice mix from my local Spinney’s grocery store the other day. Wild rice, I’m familiar with but I had never heard of red Camargue. Turns out that it is a new breed (type? species? variety?) of rice that is being cultivated in the south of France in an area called, not surprisingly, Camargue.

A little quick research reveals that the Camargue region of Provence grows a wide variety of rice, of which the red is only one, and it produces 75 percent of all the rice grown in France. Who knew? What I do know is that its nutty flavor and chewy texture make a beautiful rice salad. Add some greens and spice-encrusted seared tuna to make it into a meal.

This week my Sunday Supper friends are sharing summer dinner salads, salads that make a full meal. Since it's so hot in Dubai during the summer, we eat dinner salads a lot. We call them fancy salads and, in addition to the vegetables and greens, they must contain three more things: cheese, nuts and fruit. Occasionally meat is added, usually something off the grill like chicken or beef. This red Camargue and Wild Rice Salad with Tuna doesn't fulfill those standards of fancy salad, but it sure is pretty and delicious.

NOTE on cooking red Camargue and wild rice: I’ve learned from experience that colored rice, in general, needs a much longer cooking time than white rice, so I cooked this stuff in a big pot of salted boiling water, much as you would pasta, checking a grain or two periodically after 20 minutes, until the rice reached an acceptable cooked, yet still chewy, texture, which took closer to 30 or 35 minutes. Then I turned the fire off, strained off the water and put the rice back in the hot pot with the lid tightly closed for another 10-15 minutes.

For the salad:
1 1/2 cups cooked rice mix (about 4 1/2 oz or 125g before cooking)
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Small handful green onion tops
Small handful cilantro or fresh coriander
1/2 small yellow bell pepper or capsicum
Sea salt
Black pepper
Mixed greens of your choice
1 ripe avocado, plus extra to serve, if desired

For the tuna:
2 tuna steaks – about 9 oz or 255g each
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon mixed peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil – plus more for the frying pan

Cook your rice mix as described above or according to your package instructions. Set aside to cool.

Roughly chop your green onion tops and cilantro. Cut your bell pepper into small, skinny strips.

Put your balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a bowl big enough to hold the whole salad. Add in the bell pepper slices and a good pinch of sea salt and a good couple of grinds of fresh black pepper.  Mix well.

Once the cooked rice is cool, add it to the bowl.

Add in the onion tops and cilantro and give the whole thing a good stir. Set aside and get on with the tuna.

Lay your tuna steaks out between paper towels to dry.

Use a mortar and pestle to grind the spices finely.

The pink is Himalayan sea salt.  Use any sea salt you have. 

Mix the whole grain mustard thoroughly with the olive oil.

Spread half of the mustard mixture on one side of the tuna steaks and then sprinkle with half of the spice mix.

Put the tuna on a piece of cling film, which will make it easier for you to flip it over into the frying pan.  Repeat the seasoning on the other side, first mustard, then spices.

Heat a non-stick frying pan until it is very hot and then drizzle in a little olive oil.  Cook one side of the tuna for just a couple of minutes before turning it to the other side.

Watch the side of the tuna and you can see the cooked part coming up.  You want to leave a good amount of pink still in the middle.

Sear the other side for just a minute or two and then remove from the pan and allow to rest for a few minutes.

Slice into thin pieces with a serrated knife, using a sawing motion so you don't mash the tuna.

Right before serving, peel and chop your avocado and fold it into the salad.

This tasty rice salad makes a full meal, heaped on some leafy greens with extra avocado, if desired, and topped with the fresh spice-encrusted tuna steak.

Do you love serving dinner salads when it's hot outside too? You are going to want to pin each of these Sunday Supper Summer Dinner Salad recipes. Summer is nigh!

Many thanks to our event manager, Em, and our event host Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for all of their behind-the-scenes work!

Sunday Supper Summer Dinner Salad Recipes

Brilliant Beef Salads

Choice Chicken Salads

Superb Seafood Salads

Vibrant Veggie Salads

Pin it!  


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Passion Fruit Vinaigrette

Passion fruit vinaigrette is tangy and light, with just a hint of fruity sweetness, the perfect dressing for salad or to spoon over pan-fried fish. We especially love it on salmon.

Most of the year I tend to have a jar of homemade vinaigrette lurking somewhere in the refrigerator, nestled amongst the myriad jars on my over-packed top shelf.  It invariably contains some combination of lemon juice or vinegar, olive oil, garlic, mustard, salt and black pepper and perhaps some honey or pomegranate molasses. I fish the jar out and let it rest for about 10 minutes at room temperature until the olive oil turns liquid again and then I give it a shake. If there’s not enough dressing left in the jar for that night’s salad, I add more of this, a little of that, until there is, once again, enough. Measurements are not really necessary but a general rule of thumb is one part acid (vinegar or citrus juice) to three parts oil.

Early this summer I was making up a fresh jar of vinaigrette when I spied a few passion fruit languishing in the fruit bowl. With passion fruit, there’s a narrow window where the fruit is wrinkled and ripe and wrinkled and dried out inside and mine were approaching the other side. So I scraped the black speckled pulp out of four of those little orbs of tartness and added them to the dressing I was creating. We ate it over everything for the next couple of days! And then I made some more. It keeps for a week or more in the refrigerator, if it lasts that long.

Pulp of 4 small passion fruit – 1/4 cup or 65g
1 small purple onion
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon flakey sea salt (I use Maldon’s.)
Several generous grinds of fresh black pepper
1/2 cup or 120ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Peel and mince your onion. Add it to a small bowl with two tablespoons of the vinegar. Add in the sea salt and a few good grinds of the black pepper and set aside. Marinating the onion in the vinegar mellows some of the sharpness and bite.

Put your passion fruit pulp in a clean jam jar and mix it around with a knife or fork to loosen it up and separate the seeds.

Add in the olive oil, the onion/vinegar mixture and the last two tablespoons of vinegar. Give the jar a really good shake.

Now add in the dry mustard and shake again until very well combined.

Store in the refrigerator until ready to use, shaking well again before lightly dressing salad or spooning it over cooked fish.

Here are a couple of photos to give you an idea of uses for the dressing. The first is a simple salad with butter lettuce, ripe tomatoes, cheese and shoestring carrots. The passion fruit seeds add color and crunch!

The second is pan-fried salmon the flavor of which far exceeds its accompaniments of fresh corn on the cob and peas. As much as I love sweet corn it still would have been a rather bland meal without the passion fruit vinaigrette!

Enjoy! Go ahead and make a jar! I’d love to hear what you’ve tried it on.