Dana Slatkin

Seared Tuna with Asian Slaw

Seared Tuna with Asian Slaw

Seared Tuna with Asian Slaw

In most parts of the country, late September means leaves are turning their wild autumn colors, the air is getting crisp, and sweaters come out of hibernation, smelling like cedar or mothballs. Not here in Southern California. It is the hottest time of year. I never know whether to get a few more weeks out of my summer whites or sweat it out in my fall wardrobe. I feel awkward, caught in between seasons, longing for the carefree days of summer but wishing for colder weather to settle in.

Every year around this time, appetites in our house go schizzy, too. One morning last week, my daughter asked me to make roasted vegetables and pumpkin seeds for dinner, while my husband requested a salad. It was just too hot to crank up the oven, but cold greens did not seem hearty enough for an early fall meal.

When I saw a giant frilly head of napa cabbage at the farmers market, I knew just how to resolve all the culinary dithering. As a matter of fact, this recipe has come to the rescue on many an occasion throughout the year. The tuna, briefly seared around the edges but raw and deliciously carnal in the middle, gives the salad vigor; the vinaigrette lends an Asian flair; and the cabbage, when tossed at the last minute, adds a lacy-leafed crunch. Add it to your repertoire — for any time of year or hungry indecision.

Try our Seared Halibut with Roasted Tomatoes.

Photo credit: An Insatiable Appetite

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