It’s February and pretty cold here in Scotland but today we had our first really nice day’s weather of 2017 so it made me think that we all need a bit of love and caring in this kind of weather but with a spring twist. This blood orange and seared tuna quinoa salad is a perfect spring’s salad dish but is also perfect for boosting your immune system.
I always remember the first time I tried blood orange was when I travelled to Paris with my friends and they served blood orange in a restaurant we went to. I immediately thought “wow, this is a huge orange” and I loved it’s beautiful ruby colour but I had no idea what it was. After I took a bite I loved it’s taste and when I went back to Taiwan I only found out the name.
So what does blood orange taste like? It’s not sour at all and the taste is somewhere between an orange and grapefruit but it’s naturally sweet. My husband won’t touch fruit at all but he tried a little blood orange today and he loved it.
I love to scan through websites like Pinterest and Food Gawker for ideas for new things to try and if I ever pop into Marks and Spencer’s or Waitrose I’ll pick up one of their food magazines. It seems everywhere I look blood oranges are in fashion so I wanted to try blood orange here. Remember the same fruit in one country can taste completely different in another country. Dragon fruit is a perfect example, in China and Taiwan it tastes amazing but in the UK not so.
I also came down with a cold recently so eating a little extra vitamin C isn’t a bad thing.
So I made this “Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad” for my lunch. It seems blood orange is pretty hard to get hold of here but thankfully Waitrose sold them (Waitrose is really good for buying fruit). If you can’t get hold of blood orange then you could use a grapefruit or orange instead.
In my previous blog post I also mentioned I live really close to possibly the best fishmonger in Edinburgh, Eddie’s Seafood market, so I bought several pieces of really beautiful tuna from them. I also found a “white, black and red quinoa seed mix” in Waitrose. Compared to regular quinoa, black quinoa is a little chewier so there’s a real combination of textures when you mix the tuna with three different types of quinoa, pomegranate, feta cheese and the blood orange.
I decided to coat the tuna with black and white sesame seeds so this dish is incredibly healthy. It’s full of energy, protein and a lot of nutrition. If you don’t like or can’t eat tuna (pregnant for example, you can replace the tuna with over kinds of dish. Examples could include sea bream, pan-fried seabass etc.
So here’s my winter warming, spring thinking, blood orange and seared tuna quinoa salad.
Blood Orange and Seared Tuna Quinoa Salad
- 155 g quinoa
- 310 ml water
- 500 g tuna
- 2 blood oranges peel and slice
- 4 tbsp white sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
- 1 handful salad leaves
- 2 tbsp pomegranate
- 100 g feta cheese
- 5 mint leaves fresh and chopped finely
Marinade for Tuna
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 blood orange
Put all the ingredients for marinading the tuna into a deep plate or bowl and mix evenly. Place tuna into the bowl and gently coat the tuna with all the marinade. Leave it to marinade in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Occasionally turn the tuna while marinading so the flavour will be even on every side of the tuna.
Coat the tuna with black and white sesame seeds and wrap in cling film individually and leave in the freezer for 20 minutes to set.
Cook the quinoa by following the instructions on the packaging.
Mix the seasonings for the dressing in a small mixing bowl.
Mix 2 tablespoons of dressing with quinoa and check the seasonings. If you like a strong flavour then add more salt or pepper.
Remove the cling film from the tuna and heat up some oil in a skillet or frying pan. Sear the tuna 40-50 seconds on each side and remove from the pan.
Toss the quinoa, salad leaves, pomegranate and dressing together.
Slice the tuna.
Garnish step 7 with the sliced tuna, sliced blood orange, mint and feta cheese. It’s ready to serve.