Gazpacho & Ahi Tuna Salad Sandwiches

MONDAY

Gazpacho  |  Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Intro 2 Collage

 

“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”  ~ Mark Twain

 

I know it is summer out there…somewhere.  I hear from friends back in New York City about the heat and humidity and, after living for several years in Dallas, Texas, I cannot forget how heavy the air gets when temperatures soar into the triple digits.  But, here in San Francisco, the high today was 59°F and the skies were thick with coastal fog.  I am not complaining mind you, the grey skies and blue Bay waters create a very peaceful, soothing environment…a beauty all it’s own…but for this East Coast native, it is, well…odd.  I prepared this classic cold summer soup and salad today wearing a black turtleneck sweater and khakis, all the while wishing I had the time to bake something so I could turn on our oven. But food has the ability to transport you back to a time and place you most closely associate with it’s taste and this evening, eating dinner, I could almost feel the warm sand at a beach picnic.

The gazpacho is as easy as chop, toss and purée but the depth of flavor resulting from the additions of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces is remarkable!  Drinking your vegetables has never been this tasty…

To save a bit of time today, for the soup I used canned, organic, whole, peeled tomatoes…

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Red onion, green bell pepper, cucumber, garlic, chives and parsley, basil & oregano from the garden…

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Tomato juice and a few seasonings…

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Chop & toss…

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After a turn in the blender…

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Andrew Zimmern’s Gazpacho {adapted from Food & Wine}

  • 3, 28-ounce cans organic, whole, peeled tomatoes-drained and juices reserved
  • 1 large seedless {English} cucumber {about 1 pound}—peeled, halved and coarsely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 12-15 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 large stem fresh oregano leaves {about 15-20}
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco
  • One 46-ounce jar tomato juice
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Snipped chives, for garnish {optional}
  1. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the cucumber, green bell pepper, onion, garlic, chopped parsley, fresh basil and oregano, olive oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and Tabasco.
  2. In a blender, puree the mixture in batches until nearly smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the tomato juice and season with salt and pepper. If the mixture seems too thick, add some of the reserved tomato juice from the canned tomatos until the desired consistency is achieved.  Refrigerate the gazpacho for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Season the soup again if necessary and transfer to bowls. Garnish chives and parsley leaves and serve.

As for the tuna salad…you may never go back to canned tuna after trying this easy recipe for tuna poached in olive oil. I used fresh Ahi tuna steaks this evening but any fresh tuna will do…

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Tuna is then poached in olive oil seasoned with fennel seeds and whole black peppercorns…

Tuna Seasonings Collage

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Tuna Collage

While the tuna cools, prepare the dressing {salty capers are the star here}…

Dressing Collage

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Once the tuna has cooled a bit, shred it with a fork…

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And fold into the dressing…

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Fresh Tuna Salad {adapted from Food & Wine}

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 pound of tuna steak{s}, cut 1-inch thick
  • Salt
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, pushed through a garlic press
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced crosswise ¼- inch thick
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 kosher dill pickle, chopped
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the olive oil, fennel seeds and peppercorns and bring to a simmer over moderately low heat. Season the tuna with salt and add it to the saucepan. Simmer the tuna steak over low heat, turning once, until barely pink in the center, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and scrape off the fennel and peppercorns.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, blend the mayonnaise with the minced capers, garlic and 1 tablespoon of the fresh lemon juice. Stir the celery, onion and pickle into the dressing. Using a fork, shred the tuna, then fold into the dressing. Season with salt.

The final touch…toasted brioche buns for the sandwiches…

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Our dinner plate this evening…

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K Initial

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