Grilled Tuna with Zucchini Pasta and Artichoke Sauce
Chef Damon Stainbrook
Make good use of excess summer zucchini by creating "pasta", tossing with a flavourful artichoke and tomato sauce and serving alongside simple grilled tuna steaks. If you're short on time, substitute store-bought olive tapenade.
Combine all tapenade ingredients, tasting and adding salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let stand at room temperature before serving. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
Julienne the zucchini into long, thin noodle-like shapes. Toss with salt and let sit in colander for 15 minutes. Zucchini will soften to an al dente consistency.
To make the sauce, cook onion and garlic with salt over low heat in a heavy-bottom pot until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. Add artichokes, chile pepper and basil and simmer another 10 minutes. Add black pepper to taste and set sauce aside to cool.
Right before grilling tuna, toss the sauce and zucchini together in large bowl.
Pull tuna steaks out of fridge 15 minutes before cooking, which will help keep them from sticking to the grill (if using). Season tuna steaks with salt and pepper, then brush lightly with oil.
Lightly brush a grill rack or broiler pan with a little oil. Grill tuna over medium-high heat. Turn after about 2 to 3 minutes for rare tuna, 4 to 6 minutes for more medium to well done. Tuna should maintain a pink centre, but will flake easily around edges.
To finish, twist equal portions of pasta onto four plates, and top with grilled tuna and tablespoon of tapenade.