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Summer Salad of Seared Tuna, Shell Beans and Tomatoes

Summer Salad of Seared Tuna, Shell Beans and Tomatoes

Serves 6


1 recipe aioli (recipe follows).
2-3 tablespoons warm water
1 1/2 cups shelled fresh shell beans (flageolets, black-eyed peas, cranberry beans,limas, cannnelini or a combination)
5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound fresh green beans
3/4 pound fresh yellow(wax) beans
1 3/4 pounds fresh tuna steak
1/2 pound assorted cherry tomatoes
20 fresh basil leaves


Whisk the aioli with enough of the warm water to make a barely fluid sauce.  Set it aside.

Heat an outdoor grill or an indoor ridged cast iron pan.

Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat.  Add the shell beans and cook until tender, 20-25 minutes.  Drain, place in a large bowl,
and toss with 4 tablespoons of the vinegar and all of the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

Bring another pot os water to a boil over medium-high heat.  Add the green and yellow beans, and cook until tender, but still slightly crisp, 4-7 minutes.  Drain.  Add to shell beans and toss together.

Oil the tuna steak with a pastry brush adn grill it until golden and seared on one side, 3-4 minutes.  Turn the tuna, season it with salt and pepper, and continue to grill it until golden and slightly pink in the center, 3-5 minutes.  Remove from grill and reserve.

Halve the cherry tomatoes, place them in a bowl, and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper and toss together.
To serve, place the beans on a platter.  Break tuna into 1 1/2-inch pieces and arrange them on top of the beans. Top with the tomatoes and a spoonful of the aioli. Garnish with the basil and serve immediately with the remaining aioli on the side.


1/2 cup olive oil (not extra virgin)
1/2 cup vegetable, canola or safflower oil
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or mashed with a mortar and pestle
Juice of 1 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the olive oil and vegetable oil in a liquid measuring cup or small pitcher.
In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk, mustard adn 1 tablespoon of the combined oil together until an emulsion
is formed.  Add the remaining oil to the emulsion drop by drop, whisking constantly.  Continue to do this in a fine steady stream, whisking, until all of the oil has been added.  Do not add the oil too quickly and be sure that the emulsion is homogenous before adding more oil. Add the garlic and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
The mayonnaise can be made 7-10 days in advance, as long as the garlic isn't added until the day of serving.

Makes about 1 cup

Note:  Raw eggs carry the risk of salmonella poisoning.  Dishes containing raw eggs should not be consumed by the very young, the very old, pregnant women, or anyone with a compromised immune system.