1 lb fresh yellowfin tuna steak, sliced with the grain
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ small watermelon, seeded and cubed
½ cup pitted black olives
½ cup feta cheese, cubed
10 – 12 fresh basil leaves
1. Halve the cucumber lengthwise and cut into slices. Halve and slice the red onion. In a salad bowl, mix the cucumber and red onion with the red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for 10 min.
2. Meanwhile, pan sear the tuna in 2 tbsp olive oil until golden brown on both sides. Let cool.
3. Seed and cube watermelon. Cube feta. Remove stems from the fresh basil leaves and add to the salad bowl along with the tuna, watermelon, olives, and feta. Juice lemon. Toss salad with remaining olive oil and juice from lemon. Season to taste.
Super/Megamaxi sometimes sells what it calls feta. In reality, it’s a creamy, unbrined, feta-tasting block of something approaching queso duro consistency, and it doesn’t crumble. As with most specialty dairy products that are not native to Ecuador, it carries an eye-popping price tag and isn’t always available. I substituted once with Gouda. It wasn’t bad.
You can also substitute canned tuna for fresh. Ecuadorian canned tuna is superb. But if you live close to Manta, as we do, for God’s sake go to the fish market. Fresh yellowfin ― the world’s finest ― should only ever cost about USD 10 for three pounds. You’ll ask for one pound and the fish monger will talk you up. Freeze the remaining steaks. Fresh tuna freezes perfectly.
Lemons aren’t widely available, but Super/Megamaxi offers them from time to time. Limes are not an adequate substitute.