Grilled Tuna Skewers with Tomato-Olive Relish

Back from a week on the road and no food in the house.  My original plan was to eat some pasta with leftover marinara, roast some brussels sprouts I had left in the drawer and call it a day.  I didn’t want to do much in the way of grocery shopping since tomorrow is farmers’ market day.  I decided to go to Kroger for grapes, bananas, lemons and white beans (I wanted to make white bean hummus).  Rookie mistake – I went to the store hungry.  I came home with fruit, white beans, onions, olives, free-range chicken thighs and a lovely piece of fresh tuna.  Can’t let fresh tuna sit so I changed the dinner plan.

This is super easy, super healthy and super good.  No substitutions this time.  There are hardly enough ingredients to warrant any substitutions.   The spice rub for the tuna is light and fresh and has just a little kick.   The only thing that’s slightly tedious about this is making up the skewers.  I’d say that if making up the skewers is too much just keep the tuna whole; keep the onions and lemons in slices; and grill them that way.  It only takes about 2 minutes to cook the skewers, slightly longer if you’re grilling tuna steaks instead.  If you overcook the tuna it will be dry and chalky and you’ll have wasted your money.  Clearly 2 minutes isn’t long enough for the onions to do much more than warm up so if you’re not a fan of raw onions you’ll want to cook them longer.  You could put the onions on they’re own skewers and start them first.  Or you could divide the onion so the pieces are very small so they’ll cook a little faster.

The relish is a nice balance of sweet, salty and citrusy.  I used a mini-chopper to make the relish so that took about 2 minutes.  The only change I made here is that you don’t need all the olive oil that the recipe calls for.  The recipe is full of olives and they’re plenty oily once you chop them up fine.  I added just a drizzle of olive oil at the finish.  This is a relish that would be good on any kind of fish or chicken.  I’d bet it would also be good on a salad in place of dressing.  Make it in small batches though.  Fresh tomatoes aren’t as good after they’ve been refrigerated so just make what you think you’ll use in a meal or two.

This was a much better meal than the one I originally planned.  The great thing about making kabobs is that they’re quick to cook and easy to serve.  You can do them ahead.  They’re perfect for dinner parties!  So break out the grill; put some stuff on skewers; and invite the neighbors over.  Welcome Summer!

Good? Very good.
Easy? So, so easy.
Good for company? Absolutely.
Special shopping? Just be sure it’s very fresh tuna.

Grilled Tuna Skewers with Tomato-Olive Relish


1/3 cup chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds tuna steaks (about 1 inch thick), cut into 1-inch pieces
3 small red onions, each cut into 8 (1-inch) pieces
3 lemons, each cut into 8 wedges


Combine first 7 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal, and shake well. Remove tuna from bag; thread 4 tuna pieces, 3 red onion pieces, and 3 lemon wedges onto each of 8 (12-inch) skewers. Set tuna skewers aside.
Prepare grill. Place skewers on grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill 4 minutes on each side or until tuna is medium-rare or desired degree of doneness. Serve with Tomato-Black Olive Relish.

Tomato-Olive Relish

2 cups finely diced tomatoes
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped ripe olives
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 large garlic cloves, minced

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Set aside for 30 minutes to an hour.


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