Posts Tagged ‘onions’

While I was menu planning this week I pulled out my recipe notebook that I use to write down family or passed down recipes and to store recipes I’ve cut from magazines. I started this notebook right after college and haven’t really looked through it in a while.

I found this recipe that I cut from the May 2007 Cooking Light for Tuna with White Bean and Charred Onion Salad. I was in the mood for a lighter dinner and had fish in mind so this was perfect.

The original recipe calls for grilling the tuna and the onions but our gas grill is not working and Brandon didn’t want to fire up the Egg for a three minute tuna sear so I decided to prepare this inside. Although there are several elements to this dish, nothing is too complicated and it was easy to put together. Instead of grilling the onions, I cooked them in a cast iron skillet and let the edges get a little charred. I seared the tuna in a hot skillet for about 2 minutes per side.

I made several modifications  to the recipe. First, I doubled the marinade and only used two tuna steaks. I still made the full recipe for the white bean salad because I wanted to use the leftovers for lunch. Second, I omitted the parsley from the white bean salad and used a mixture of fresh rosemary and basil instead. And third, I omitted the capers because I detest them!

I was very pleased with how this dish turned out. The white bean salad was delicious and paired nicely with the tuna. I enjoyed plating the tuna and white bean salad over mixed greens but you could easily skip the mixed greens and just do a vegetable on the side.

Maybe I’ll have to turn to my recipe notebook for inspiration more often!

Tuna with White Bean and Charred Onion Salad
(Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, May 2007)


1  tablespoon  grated lemon rind
3  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
1  teaspoon  Dijon mustard
1  teaspoon  olive oil
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1  garlic clove, minced
4  (6-ounce) tuna steaks

1  medium Vidalia or other sweet onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3  tablespoons  red wine vinegar
1  tablespoon  olive oil
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/4  teaspoon  Dijon mustard
1  garlic clove, minced
1/2  cup  chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/4  cup  chopped flat-leaf parsley (I subbed basil and rosemary)
1  tablespoon  capers (omitted)
1  (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
6  cups  mixed salad greens


Combine the marinade ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag or a shallow dish. Add tuna to bag or dish and seal or cover. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning once. Remove tuna from bag and discard marinade. Prepare grill if cooking outside. Place tuna on grill rack coated with cooking spray and grill 2 minutes on each side for rare or until desired degree of doneness. Alternatively, cook in a skillet over medium high heat with a bit of olive oil for about two minutes per side.

Place onion slices on grill rack coated with cooking spray and grill 5 minutes on each side or until tender. Cool and chop. Alternatively, cook onions in a cast iron skillet over medium heat with olive oil, salt and pepper until tender and browned.

Combine vinegar and next five ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended. Add onion, cucumber, parsley (or herbs), capers and beans to vinegar mixture and toss to coat. Arrange 1 1/2 cups salad greens on each of four plates. Top each serving with about 1/2 cup onion mixture and 1 tuna steak.

Yield: 4 servings


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Caramelized Onions


Last Saturday we hosted a baby shower for our friends Cristen and Graham (see the awesome cake I made them in the post below). The theme was a cookout – too bad it was freezing, rainy and ended up snowing three inches the next morning! We decided to stick with the cookout theme and everyone had fun anyway – we just stayed inside except for some of the brave guys who went out to grill the burgers.

I wanted to put a new spin on the burgers so we decided to do fun toppings. We had bacon, caramelized onions, blue cheese, sharp cheddar, pepperjack, BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo, mustard and ketchup. Everyone loved the “make your own burger bar” and the caramelized onions were a big hit.

These are a staple and I wanted to share my method for no-fail caramelized onions. These will keep in the fridge for a week or so. You can make them ahead of time or make a batch and use them as you need them.

Caramelized Onions
(Recipe source me!)


White, yellow or sweet onions (as many as you’d like to cook – remember they cook down a ton. Make more than you think you need)
Olive Oil


Slice onions thinly. Place in a medium bowl and sprinkle with sugar and salt. Toss and let sit for a little while – anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple hours.

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan (like Le Creuset) or in a cast iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes or until they begin to brown. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking onions for about 10 to 15 more minutes until they are golden colored. Watch them carefully and stir frequently to prevent burning.

Remove from heat and serve or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.

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