And Its Delicious Health Benefits
May 2022 Issue
By Leslie Rohland
Photography by Lucy Rosen
Are you ready to discover the wide variety of tastes and health benefits of mouthwatering fresh tuna? May 2nd is World Tuna Day, which is an official United Nations observance that was instituted in 2016 to raise awareness of the importance of sustainably managed tuna stocks. So, happy World Tuna Day! There’s no better time to think about creative ways to incorporate the light, fresh taste of tuna into your springtime menus.
Tuna, a saltwater fish, is known for being an excellent source of lean protein. In addition, it is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower the risk of heart disease. Tuna is also a reliable source of vitamin B-12, which can help prevent the development of anemia, and vitamin D, which is important for bone health and strengthening the immune system. This lean fish also touts iron, vitamin B6, potassium, selenium and iodine in its health treasure chest. The omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins/minerals in tuna have also been associated with a positive effect on eye health and a reduced risk of cancer. And, when it comes to both eating healthy and losing weight, since tuna is a lean meat that is high in protein and low in calories, it’s known for helping to keep you full—and satisfied—longer.
There are so many innovative, healthy and delicious ways to prepare tuna – whether you buy canned tuna or purchase fresh (or frozen) tuna steaks at your favorite fish market. One of the most versatile foods around, tuna can be marinated and grilled, broiled, baked, added to a fresh salad—and used in place of beef to turn family favorites, such as burgers and meatballs, into healthier, yet equally delicious, dinner alternatives. Tuna can also be enjoyed raw in sushi, sashimi and poke bowls, as well as in one of my favorite appetizer recipes— Tuna Carpaccio. It tastes as spectacular as it looks on the plate, and of course, we have the recipe for you below!
So now you’re ready to tune in to one of the healthiest, lightest, freshest and tastiest fish around and enjoy some of my favorite tuna recipes. It’s a great way to kick off lighter eating this spring and a great way to eat healthy all year long.
Tuna Carpaccio Appetizer
Serves 2 | Pictured above
1 Scallion, chopped
6- or 7-ozs Yellowfin tuna, sliced thin
Coarse sea salt
1 small Grapefruit, cut into sections (no ribs or pith)
2 Tbsps Olive oil
1 thumb-sized piece Fresh Ginger, peeled and grated
Balsamic Glaze Fresh ground black pepper
Using a sharp knife, very thinly slice the tuna across the widest part. Arrange the slices evenly to fill the center of 2 salad plates. Cover each plate with plastic wrap pressed lightly against the tuna. Keep chilled. Toss the grapefruit sections with a bit of its juice. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and keep refrigerated. Grate the ginger. Place in a bowl.
When ready to serve, uncover the plates. Lightly sprinkle the tuna with the grated ginger. Place the grapefruit in the center of each plate on top of the tuna. Add the chopped scallions. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Lightly drizzle balsamic glaze over the plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
SOUTHERN TUNA SALAD “SALAD”
1 hardboiled Egg, diced
1 (5-oz) can Albacore tuna in water, drained
¼ cup Duke's mayonnaise
3 Tbsps Sweet pickle relish, drained
½ tsp Lemon juice
½ tsp Creole seasoning
Mixed greens Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Crackers or toast points
Flake the tuna into a small mixing bowl. Stir in the egg, relish, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Creole seasoning and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Place mixed greens in a bowl, add tuna salad and toss gently. Best served with crackers or toast points.
Mango Mojito Tuna Skewers
Makes 12-15 skewers
2 Tbsps Olive oil 2 tsps Kosher salt
1 Tbsp Smoked paprika
2 Tbsps Jamaican jerk seasoning
¼ tsp Cinnamon
1/3 cup Vanilla or plain Greek yogurt
½ tsp Granulated garlic
1 large ripe chopped Mango, core removed
1/4 cup Honey
¼ tsp Cayenne pepper, if desired
1 Lime, zested and juiced
1 large handful Mint, chopped, plus extra for garnish
2 (6-oz) Tuna steaks, cut into cubes (buy high quality tuna)
Combine salt, Jamaican jerk seasoning, paprika, garlic and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut tuna steaks in 1” to 2” square pieces, then generously season each tuna piece with the mixture, pressing to adhere. You can also gently roll the tuna in the spice mix. Let the tuna pieces sit until close to room temperature. Add the olive oil to a pan over medium/medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, sear tuna pieces about 20 to 30 seconds on each side, for rare. Transfer to a plate and stick a 6” skewer or long toothpick through the top of each square. Let rest while you make the sauce.
Combine the mango, yogurt, honey, cayenne (if using) lime zest and juice, mint and salt together in a blender. Blend at high speed until mojito sauce is smooth. Line the skewers on a platter, leaving space in the middle for a small bowl. Pour half of the sauce into the small bowl for dipping, then drizzle the skewers with the remaining sauce. Refrigerate until ready to serve. If you have left over mint, sprinkle it on top of the skewers for extra flavor!
Tangerine Berry Sorbet
Serves 2 – 4
1 pint store-bought Sorbet, strawberry or raspberry
1 Tangerine, seeded and chopped
1 Lemon, halved
Fresh mint, chopped
Place the chopped tangerine on the bottom of a small bowl or open champagne-style glass (coupe). Place a scoop of sorbet on top of the tangerines. Squeeze the lemon over the sorbet. Garnish with fresh mint. Enjoy this delightful palate cleanser!
Leslie Rohland, owner of the Cottage Cafe, Bakery and Tea Room in Old Town Bluffton, is an award-winning recipe creator who is known for her delicious and ever-changing menu at her extraordinary restaurant. She is also the owner of the popular healthy eatery The Juice Hive and the micro-roastery May River Coffee Roasters. For more information about The Cottage Cafe, visit www.thecottagebluffton.com or call 843-757-0508.