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Grilled Tuna with Pepper Sauce

The yellow bell peppers, roughly pureed with potato, look like cooked polenta.

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  • Servings: 8

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  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium Yukon Gold potato—peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise paper-thin
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Eight 6-ounce tuna steaks, 1 inch thick
  • Sage leaves, for garnish


  1. Light a grill or preheat the broiler.
  2. In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over low heat until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the yellow peppers, potato, water and a large pinch of salt. Cover and cook until the peppers and potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes. Transfer the vegetables and their liquid to a food processor and process until roughly pureed. Scrape the sauce into a bowl, add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Brush the tuna steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill or broil for 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly charred on the outside and medium rare in the center. Spoon the sauce onto large plates and set the tuna steaks on top. Garnish with sage leaves and serve.

Make Ahead

The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Suggested Pairing

The meaty flavors of the grilled tuna and sweet peppers point away from white wine to a soft, smooth Pinot Noir. Try one from Santa Barbara.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published June 1999

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