Grilled Tuna Nicoise

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 40 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Chianti Glaze:

2 cups Chianti

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon granulated sugar


2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

6 (6 to 7-ounce) tuna steaks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1/2 cup diced tomatoes

3 tablespoons capers, drained

1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 pound orzo pasta, cooked

1 cup spinach leaves

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup cooked and thinly sliced pancetta

1/4 cup grated Parmesan


  1. For the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the Chianti, vinegar, and sugar for 20 to 30 minutes, or until reduced by 80-percent total volume. Hold at room temperature.
  2. For the tuna: Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Season the steaks with salt and pepper on both sides and add to the hot pan in 2 batches. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the steaks, reduce the heat to medium-high, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove the steaks from the pan and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the steaks on the bias, 1-inch thick. Reserve the pan for the pasta.
  3. For the pasta: Add the tomatoes, capers, olives, garlic, basil, and parsley to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add the orzo and spinach and cook for an additional minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter to finish the sauce.
  4. To serve: Spoon the orzo onto plates, top with tuna, Parmesan, and pancetta, and drizzle with the Chianti glaze.
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