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Toothsome Images / Bites with a Bite: Ahi Steaks and Moroccan Pesto

I like to cook to match my mood. Some days I’m feeling sweet and I’ll whip up a summer pie, but today I’m feeling sassy and need a meal with a bit of a bite. As the summer days wind down I’m harvesting all the freshness from my garden and these tasty pepper-crusted ahi steaks are delicious with my green veggies and ripe cherry tomatoes. You can add this flavorful Moroccan pesto on the side for extra dipping or make it early in the week and add it to your favorite meat dishes.

Add these steaks to your favorite Niçoise salad recipe to replace the typical canned tuna staple.

Pepper-Crusted Ahi Tuna with a Black Tapenade sauce

Serves 4

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 cup store-bought black olive tapenade

2 tablespoons kosher or sea salt

1/3 cup coarsely crushed peppercorns

4 ahi tuna steaks, 1 1/4 inches (about 5 ounces each)

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill on high.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and tapenade and mix well. Set aside.

On a dinner plate, mix together the salt and peppercorns and spread the mixture out on the plate. Press each tuna steak into the mixture, coating it heavily on both sides. Set aside on a separate plate.

Oil the grill grate. Use tongs to arrange the steaks directly over the hot fire. Grill the tuna until grill marks are etched across the steaks, about 2 minutes. Turn the steaks and grill until red-rare in the center when tested with a knife, or an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 120°F, about 2 minutes longer.

Use tongs to transfer the steaks to a cutting board and cut across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices, overlapping them, on warmed dinner plates, and accompany with a spoonful of sauce. Serve immediately.

If you’re not feeling fishy, this moroccan pesto is an amazing marinade for meats or poultry. It’s also a great sauce to accompany grilled lamb and chicken.

Moroccan Pesto

Makes about 1/2 cup

1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley.

2 large cloves garlic

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the cilantro, parsley, garlic, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper and process until the herbs and garlic are finely chopped. With the machine running, pour the lemon juice and olive oil through the feed tube and process until the sauce is combined. Use immediately, or transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

About the author: Darcie expresses her grand appreciation for gorgeous food, curating the stock website Toothsome Images. Her eye for detail makes her a powerhouse in the production of special projects. Outside of work you can find her playing in her garden or riding her bike while posting awesome bike photos to Instagram @idarcie

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