Seared Tuna Tortilla Sandwich
This sandwich by Chef Vincent Guerithault bypasses bland tuna in a can for fresh tuna steaks, which are layered with tortillas-the bread of the Southwest–and a delicious cilantro pesto.
- For the Cilantro Pesto:
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons toasted pinon nuts (substitute pine nuts)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- For the Tuna:
- 8 ounces highest-grade ahi tuna (about 1 inch thick)
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 corn tortillas, 6 inches in diameter, cut into halves and fried until light brown and crisp
- 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 20 leaves of arugula salt to taste
- For the Pesto: Put all the ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.
- Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the tuna with the pepper. When the pan is very hot, add the tuna and sear until the pepper is crusty and aromatic, about 1 minute per side. The tuna should still be rare in the center. Slice into very thin strips.
- Assembly: Place a tortilla half on each of 4 plates. Put a few slices of seared tuna on each tortilla.
- Arrange a slice of tomato, a slice of avocado, and a few arugula leaves on top of the tortilla; drizzle with a teaspoon of cilantro pesto.
- Repeat the layers and drizzle more cilantro pesto on top.
- Drizzle more cilantro pesto on the plates around the tortilla stacks. Serve immediately.
Tips/TechniquesFor this sandwich, the tuna is briefly seared and just rare in the center, so buy the best-grade tuna you can find. If you prefer, substitute lobster, sea scallops, or chicken for the tuna.