Tuna with Green Beans, Lemon and Wasabi

Another Saturday. More farmers’ market shopping; more weeding of the garden; more harvesting of the garden; more assorted household chores.  It was a full day that started pretty early so an easy dinner was the only option.  This is really easy.  It’s also fantastically good.  Really.  Fantastic.  And easy.  And fantastic.  Got it?


I got my tuna from Barham’s Seafood this morning and it is just beautiful.  A single piece that was nearly a pound and beautifully dark red.  I cut it into 3 pieces and cooked them all.  I picked the beans out of my garden this morning.  Hard to beat that.  In spite of a little skepticism I followed the recipe nearly exactly.  I used white sesame seeds because I didn’t have black ones, but other than that I put my trust in Rocco DiSpirito.

At first I was concerned that without any soy sauce or sesame oil the flavor would be flat and uninteresting.  I was so, so wrong.  Then, after smelling the dressing I was concerned that the wasabi would overpower every other flavor.  Wrong again.  This is really, really good.  The dressing is very bright and citrusy and very sharp, but somehow not at all too much.  It’s an amazing contrast.  The small touch of salt makes the other flavors really stand out.  What makes this work is the subtle, but distinct flavors of the tuna and the green beans.  They’re the perfect vehicle for a dressing this strong.  Then the buttery texture of tuna next to the crisp green beans really puts it over the top.

This is some kind of good, folks.  And it’s easy.  And it’s quick.  And it has an elegant presentation.  And it cost me about $5 per serving.  Not sure what else you could ask of a dinner.  I’m already looking forward to having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Good? So, so, so good.
Easy? So easy.
Good for company? Elegant and wonderful, yes.
Special shopping? Nope, just get good tuna.

Tuna with Green Beans, Lemon and Wasabi


4 sushi-grade tuna steaks (3 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
12 ounces haricots verts or slim green beans, trimmed
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons wasabi paste
4 scallions (white and green parts), sliced thin on the diagonal
3 tablespoons black sesame seeds


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Preheat a grill or grill pan over high heat.

Season the tuna steaks with salt and pepper to taste, and spray them lightly with cooking spray. When the grill is hot, add the tuna and cook for 1 1/2 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the tuna to a platter and allow it to rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the haricots verts in the boiling water until they are just tender, about 3 minutes; drain.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and zest, garlic, and wasabi paste. Add the haricots verts, scallions, and sesame seeds. Toss to coat, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Thinly slice the tuna. Fan each portion onto each of 4 plates. Pile a mound of dressed haricots verts on top of the tuna, and serve.

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