Grilled Tuna and Avocado Salad

As a child I was enamored by cooking shows. You might remember my favorites. Of course, Julia Child on The French Chef. How could you not love Julia? But I also eagerly watched Wok With Yan, mostly focused on Asian stir-fries and The Cajun Cook, Justin Wilson, who seemed to shove whole garlic cloves into just about everything. I’m showing my age, aren’t I? These shows were delightfully quirky and on some level…enlightening!

Now days there are two people I always stop to watch:  Bobby Flay and Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. As I have already given away my feelings for sweet Bobby in Ready For A Throwdown, I’d now like to take a moment to pay Ms. Ina her proper respect.

What to say about Ina. (Sigh.) She’s like a young aunt, or older friend, to whom you would unabashedly pour out your soul, over a couple cosmos, homemade smoked salmon spread, and freshly baked baguettes!


I don’t generally make a habit of getting starstruck. In fact, I can’t think of a single Hollywood celeb that I would really care to meet. But Ina’s different. With her freshly cut peonies, her colorful friends in magenta sweaters, and her soothing river-stone voice, she lures me in every time. Plus I love the way she talks about her husband Jeffrey. She obviously, sees him as the sun and moon–and that just endears her to me even more.

Ina’s carefree cooking style is something I aspire to. She focuses on revamping the classics, and celebrating ingredients in a minimalist way. She doesn’t worry herself with trends and lavish presentation, just quality. Because of this, she exudes confidence and simple elegance in a way I rarely see. To top it all, every episode ends with a party or a quaint dinner-for-two in the garden. I can only dream that someday my days will end like The Barefoot Contessa!

So in honor of Ina, I give you one of her dishes that is perfect for summer.

Food is not about impressing people. It’s about making them feel comfortable. ~Ina Garten

Love you Ina!

Brush the tuna steaks with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the tuna steaks in a very hot saute pan and cook for only 1 minute on each side. Set aside on a platter.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, lime zest, wasabi, lime juice, soy sauce and hot sauce. Chop the avocados and add them to the vinaigrette.

Cut the tuna in chunks and place it in a large bowl. Add the scallions and red onion and mix well.

Pour the vinaigrette mixture over the tuna and carefully mix.

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53 comments on “Grilled Tuna and Avocado Salad

  1. alisonposted August 16, 2010 at 4:21 am Reply

    i like your meal,very healthy,with good ingredients and a fantastic look!

  2. Angie's Recipesposted August 16, 2010 at 4:23 am Reply

    Did you say that avocado makes everything better? :-)))I am totally with you!
    And how I love your balsamic strawberries!

  3. Cookin' Canuckposted August 16, 2010 at 4:43 am Reply

    What a pretty salad! I really like Ina Garten's recipes, too – she always makes very good use of the freshest produce.

  4. Annaposted August 16, 2010 at 4:51 am Reply

    Oh! I love Ina Garten, she is awesome, makes all those recipes seems simple to make. I have learned so much with her show. And Bobby Flay… his flavors are deliciously spicy. Love it. Your dishes look fantastic, great pictures. Have a great week.

  5. My Kitchen in the Rockiesposted August 16, 2010 at 5:31 am Reply

    I would love to move in Ina's house. Especially with the new addition, isn't it spectacular. And her garden is a dream. I also have almost all of her cookbooks and enjoy watching her shows. Every recipe I have made from her tastes fantastic.
    You selected two wonderful dishes. I am sure they tasted great. Your pictures speak for themselves. Thanks.

  6. Kociposted August 16, 2010 at 5:31 am Reply

    Both of these dishes look deeelicious! I'm a big Ina fan, too!

  7. Indie.Teaposted August 16, 2010 at 10:02 am Reply

    I always use vanilla beans myself too. :) Both the tuna salad and the panna cotta look delicious. Now I'm seriously craving some panna cotta…it looks so creamy and good.

  8. Belinda @zomppaposted August 16, 2010 at 11:47 am Reply

    I think she'd be pretty happy with this dish!

  9. The Mom Chefposted August 16, 2010 at 12:03 pm Reply

    I think she'd be happy with your whole homage to her talent and wonderful creations. The salad is beautiful, but I'm a panna cotta fan and that's a work of art.

  10. Eileenposted August 16, 2010 at 12:17 pm Reply

    I love your writings Sommer. Your posts are so enjoyable to read. And the photo's – wow…

  11. Stellaposted August 16, 2010 at 1:05 pm Reply

    Hey Sommer, I love Ina too. I can't put my finger on why, as sometimes I find myself with some disapproval of her for different reasons I can put my finger on (smile). But, overall, I love watching her. She's so talented, pretty, and friendly. Wait, maybe I can put my finger on why I like her;)
    Anyway, this meal looks delicious, and is very much like Ina.

  12. 12th Man Training Tableposted August 16, 2010 at 1:11 pm Reply

    digging the strawberries with balsamic!

  13. 5 Star Foodieposted August 16, 2010 at 1:16 pm Reply

    Two wonderful dishes! The combo of tuna and avocado in the salad is delightful and I just love those strawberries!

  14. Kristenposted August 16, 2010 at 1:49 pm Reply

    Your pictures made my mouth water. I love the strawberries with the panna cotta. MMMMM!

  15. Birenposted August 16, 2010 at 2:28 pm Reply

    Both dishes look awesome. The tuna is seared to perfection and the panna cotta looks lovely!

    BTW, I like Ina too :)

  16. Evan @swEEtsposted August 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm Reply

    I love watching Ina… I envy her lavish life style, but she most definitely seems like someone you'd want to spend hours talking with and eating her glorious food. I just sent the tuna recipe to Mountain Man and I've never made panna cotta so I think I'm going to have to give it a go.. for Ina :)

  17. Torviewtorontoposted August 16, 2010 at 3:35 pm Reply

    lovely pictures looks delicious

  18. Radhikaposted August 16, 2010 at 4:12 pm Reply

    I love Ina too. She is very inspiring so is your dishes. That salad and the panna cotta looks super delicious and inviting

  19. Emily Malloyposted August 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm Reply

    Simply gawgeous, dahling!

  20. Marisaposted August 16, 2010 at 5:03 pm Reply

    Oh, Ina. I love to imitate the way she talks. "Today, I'm making a faabulous panna cotta…Jeffrey's gonna love it!" Although I poke fun at her, I can't deny her food always looks awesome. Two great dishes!

  21. Kylie [A Hungry Spoon]posted August 16, 2010 at 5:09 pm Reply

    Sommer–Ina is my cooking idol as well! Particularly my baking idol. Have you tried her carrot cake recipe or her outrageous brownie recipes? These are my two favorites. Thank you for sharing your love for Ina!

    Also, thanks so much for your insight about Asheville eating–we had a wonderful time during our visit last week, and definitely ate plenty :)

  22. City Shareposted August 16, 2010 at 6:07 pm Reply

    That looks fabulous! I love rare tuna salads, but have never tried it with avocado. The dessert sounds great too – creamy and sweet with a touch of acidity. Thanks for sharing these recipes.

  23. Victoria K.posted August 16, 2010 at 7:19 pm Reply

    I love Ina too! That tuna and avocado salad is one that I always had my eye on! Looks so good, I'm glad you enjoyed your meal :)

  24. sinfullyspicyposted August 16, 2010 at 9:42 pm Reply

    Oh My…I simply drool over Bobby Flay & Ina Garten is such a fantastic food star! Both are my favourites too!!
    And this salad looks so fresh & healthy! I can eat avocados day and night to bring glow my skin! You have given me another way of eating them..with tuna..It cant get better!:P

  25. Julianaposted August 16, 2010 at 10:35 pm Reply

    OH! Everything looks so yummie…from the fish to the pannacota…I love them all. What a lovely meal. By the way, great pictures, so pretty!

  26. Cook with Madinposted August 16, 2010 at 11:35 pm Reply

    Hi Sommer, these are lovely dishes and great presentation. I've tried most of Ina's recipes too, they never disappoint.

  27. A Little Yumminessposted August 16, 2010 at 11:45 pm Reply

    Love Ina Garten and have often wanted to make the tuna and avocado recipe. Have all her cookbooks

  28. sweetlifeposted August 16, 2010 at 11:48 pm Reply

    I love Ina, she's like your fav aunt, great dishes you chose to showcase, I have made many of her recipes and they are failproof…


  29. Claudiaposted August 17, 2010 at 2:01 am Reply

    I am also an Ina lover – even if I don't watch TV – her cookbooks have me bewitched and you do her proud. The panna cotta with the balsamic berries really sings!

  30. Hyosun Roposted August 17, 2010 at 2:07 am Reply

    I am a big fan of Ina too and have most of her books too. Your tuna dish looks wonderful!

  31. Gailposted August 17, 2010 at 2:13 am Reply

    That Tuna and Avocado salad looks absolutely divine! Your photos make it look particularly enticing.

  32. Pacheco Pattyposted August 17, 2010 at 4:02 am Reply

    Nice tribute to a wonderful lady! The tuna and avocado salad looks amazing:-)

  33. Magic of Spiceposted August 17, 2010 at 8:17 am Reply

    These are both exceptional dishes…I particularly love this salad :) Wonderful photos as well :)

  34. Emilyposted August 17, 2010 at 2:07 pm Reply

    I gotta try the panna cotta recipe. What interests me is the black pepper added to the strawberry.

    I love Ina Garten too, but who doesn't? I love her approach in cooking and whenever I watch her cooks, I secretly wish that she is my aunty. ;P

  35. Chow and Chatterposted August 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm Reply

    wow what a gourmet meal truly first class

  36. Rosa's Yummy Yumsposted August 17, 2010 at 3:08 pm Reply

    So delicious and fresh! Both the salad and panna cotta looks exceptional!



  37. sposted August 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm Reply

    It looks perfect!

  38. Magdalenaposted August 17, 2010 at 6:24 pm Reply

    Great salad, and pana cotta, too :) I do not know any of those shows, here in Europe I always watch classics like Jamie and Blumenthal.

  39. Pamposted August 17, 2010 at 6:29 pm Reply

    Nice tribute and the dishes look delicious! Good job!

  40. Loriposted August 17, 2010 at 7:08 pm Reply

    I seen the episode where she makes this. I dont watch it very much because we don't have cable or dish. Anywho, I was so intrigued by this salad. I am totally kicking myself because last night we had tuna and I could have made this, uGH! An excuse I guess to get some more tuna. It looks totally delicious as does your strawberry and panna cotta dessert!

  41. Nirmalaposted August 17, 2010 at 7:58 pm Reply

    I love Ina too. And this salad. I make something similar with canned sardines! So so good. Think it's what I'm having for lunch!

  42. lauraposted August 17, 2010 at 9:37 pm Reply

    I met Ina at the Fancy Food Show! She was very nice and I told her how she taught me to bake shrimp and roast brussels in the oven – she said people comment on her shrimp method all the time. These dishes look fabulous!!!

  43. Samantha @ The Savvy Soybeanposted August 18, 2010 at 1:09 am Reply

    I love Ina =) Whenever I watch her show, I just want to be whisked away to the hamptons for a dinner party! That food looks delicious!!

  44. julieposted August 18, 2010 at 2:24 am Reply

    I am an absolute Ina lover myself. I actually think my blood pressure lowers when I watch her show. It's just so relaxing and wonderful. And the food… well we won't even go there. Yummy! These look delicious. Hope you're doing well!

  45. baking.serendipityposted August 18, 2010 at 4:19 am Reply

    So many awesome flavor combinations here! I think black pepper and strawberry is my favorite :)

  46. Delishhhposted August 18, 2010 at 5:17 am Reply

    I am a huge tuna fan and always looking for new good recipes, this one is a keeper. I have to save and try it out. Haven't been here for awhile since i was moving but i am back now. Again, great blog!

  47. denise @ quickies on the dinner tableposted August 18, 2010 at 3:56 pm Reply

    That is a superb meal! Simple, yet so perfect together! I used to love watching Nigella Lawson, but have tired of her less than reliable recipes.

    The first Ina Garten recipe I ever tried – her chocolate cupcakes with ganache frosting were sublime and so simple! These days I can't get through the day without watching the Barefoot Contessa!

  48. Devakiposted August 18, 2010 at 7:12 pm Reply

    What an exquiaite meal for a worthy recipient!

    The tuna is PERFECTLY cooked and the pannacotta with the balsamic glazed strawberries is sublime. I especially love the lemon zest topping.

    Wonderful as always, Sommer!

    Ciao,[email protected] weavethousandflavors

  49. Foodessaposted August 18, 2010 at 9:25 pm Reply

    What a great showcase of photos elaborating all your passionately inspired dedication in the kitchen.
    Sommer…your joy shines through in the foods you select ;o) Brava!

    Flavourful wishes,

  50. Jill Gottenstraterposted August 20, 2010 at 12:02 pm Reply

    I too LOVE Ina! Thanks for sharing. Your pictures throughout your blog are BEAUTIFUL!

  51. Valposted August 24, 2010 at 6:19 am Reply

    I wasn't brought up on Ina but I have managed to see enough episodes of 'The Barefoot Contessa' to have gone and bought one of her books.

    I absolutely love her food philosophy for simple, quality ingredients. Her results really are always chic and delicious, which you can see from your beautiful shots.

  52. Kateposted August 25, 2010 at 11:27 pm Reply

    Sign me up for either of those, Sommer! Had to laugh when you mentioned Julia. I was taping the weekend radio show today and told my colleague's assistant in Kansas City about hitting top nine on FB last weekend. So, the guy running the equipment and the guy I'm on with both asked a lot of questions about my blog. We finished chatting about Social Security and estate planning and all the stuff I deal with on the show and the music played then it kept going and all of the sudden, it was Julia chattering away. I have NO clue how Tom found the clip in the 15 min it took Dean and me to chat but he did and it made my day :-) Kate

  53. Terrence Allbeeposted April 20, 2013 at 9:13 am Reply

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