Seared tuna over a kale salad with avocado mustard vinaigrette

I am breaking the Mediterranean trend on this blog. Today’s recipe is inspired by four different things:

a.  I recently finished reading Nora Ephron’s semi-autobiographical novel Heartburn, which contains recipes throughout the book including a recipe for the “perfect” way to make a vinaigrette. I am not using this recipe, but I THOUGHT of making salad dressing because of it.

b. The avocado part of this dinner comes from a conversation I had with my mother a couple weeks ago which went about as follows (this is completely paraphrased):

Mom: Your father made me buy avocados, but I don’t know what to do with them.
Joanna: Eat them?
Mom: You’re a snot. What do you do with avocados?
Joanna: Usually just eat them. Like by the spoonful. Or put them on sandwiches. Or make guacamole.
Mom: But I don’t think I like avocados.
Joanna: Well, then perhaps Dad should be the one to decide what y’all do with the avocados.

So, Mom (the only person I know regularly reads this blog), here’s a suggestion of what you can do with avocados

c. This buzzfeed article which told me that kale salads can deal with a heavy dressing and suggested chiffonading the kale and tossing with salt/oil for a bit before adding the rest of the dressing.

d. Tuna steaks were on sale at Giant.

And so, without further ado, my original creation: seared tuna over kale salad with avocado mustard vinaigrette.

Three Recipes in One!!!

Servings: 1
Cooking time: 20 minutes


Recipe 1: Avocado Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • 3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 4 Tbsp Olive oil
  • Black pepper

Recipe 2: Kale Salad

  •  Avocado Mustard Vinaigrette (see above)
  •  2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  •  Salt
  •  One cup of Kale, chiffonaded
  •  One white button mushroom, sliced
  •  Two baby carrots, grated into carrot curls
  •  1/8 of an avocado, sliced

Recipe 3: Seared Tuna Steak

  •  1/2 lb Tuna Steak
  • Spices: salt, black pepper, garlic powder, coriander, and paprika

How to cook the thing

I’m not going to split up the steps for cooking the three recipes, since I did them all at once in my dinner. But you, dear reader, are assuredly smart enough to figure out how to make either the tuna without the salad or the salad without the tuna or even just the dressing.

  1. Chop up the kale– discard the rib in the middle and then chiffonade.
  2. Toss in a bowl with salt and two tablespoons of olive oil. Let sit for half an hour (you can make the dressing while it sits).
Massage the kale with your hands. It will make your hands oily, but apparently makes it taste better.

Massage the kale with your hands. It will make your hands oily, but apparently makes it taste better.

  1. Mash up 1/4 of an avocado as much as you can. If you have a blender, this would probably be easier. I don’t have a blender.
  2. Add the dijon mustard and the vinegar and the black pepper. Mix well.
  3. Start drizzling oil into vinegar/mustard/avocado mix while quickly stirring with fork. Whisk until as smooth as possible. Once again, if you have a blender, your life will probably be easier than mine.
  4. Mix the dressing into the kale along with the other vegetables listed in recipe two.
  5. Start heating a pan with just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan.
  6. Coat the tuna on both sides with all the spices.
  7. Once the pan is super hot, put the tuna in the pan. Let it sear for 1-2 minutes, then flip over and sear on the other side 1-2 minutes.
It's going to smoke so, so much. Live in an apartment in which you can open a window. Or if that's not possible, just open your basement apartment's door.

It’s going to smoke so, so much. Live in an apartment in which you can open a window. Or if that’s not possible, just open your basement apartment’s door.

  1. Plate the tuna by putting it on top of your kale salad on a large plate.
Bon Appetit!

Bon Appetit!


    1. What kind of tuna is that?
    2. That is one hot pan, and one dark sear.
    3. You probably shouldn’t be searing in a Teflon pan because cancer.
    4. I’m going to have to try kale one of these days, aren’t I? I’m avoiding it because I have an aversion to trendy things.
    1. Yellowfin Tuna.
    2. Yeah, the first side I seared with the pan too hot. The other side I turned the pan down to medium-high and it was a more golden brown, I should have photographed the other side probably.
    3. WebMD says I don’t have to worry about teflon causing cancer. Also, I only have one large pan. Buy me a nice cast iron pan for my birthday.
    4. Probably. I managed to make it until about a month ago without ever having it and now I’ve had it three times within that month. Though of course, I would have lied through my teeth and said I had it many times if asked. I like being trendy.
      1. It’s really hard to chiffonade curly kale. I did the rolling thing and then the chopping thing. It was technically chiffonade. Just, specialer.
      2. You might! And now you have an option of how to try it.
  1. Teflon is harmless below 500°F. Above that, it can start off-gassing toxins, hence my concern about searing.

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