Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Grilled Tuna Pitas with Mango-Avocado Salsa

These filled pita pockets are as flavorful and inviting as they are light and fresh. Ahi tuna is often sold frozen, but if you can find it fresh, go for it. Be careful not to overcook—a few minutes is all it takes to get beautifully (and tenderly) cooked tuna.

And speaking of fresh: this salsa is there. Fruit, vegetables, a splash of lime—it’s everything to feel good about.

Serves 4


For the Salsa
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 firm-ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and small-diced
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 4 tsp fresh lime juice, divided
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small, firm-ripe avocado

Salsa Ingredients
For the Pitas
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing grill pan
  • 1 red Thai chile, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 12-oz ahi tuna steak, 1-inch thick (or 2 6-oz steaks)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 6-inch pita pocket halves
  • shredded lettuce, for serving


For the Salsa
  1. Place the radishes, mango, scallion, cilantro, and 2 teaspoons lime juice in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Just before serving, peel the avocado and remove the pit. Coarsely chop and stir into the radish mixture along with the remaining 2 teaspoons of lime juice. Re-season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Radish Mixture
Mango-Avocado Salsa
For the Pitas
  1. Combine 1/4 cup olive oil, Thai chile, and garlic clove in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand 20 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl
  2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and brush with olive oil. Season the tuna with salt and pepper and grill until lightly charred on the bottom, about 4 minutes.
  3. Turn and sear 3-4 minutes longer, until lightly charred on the other side and pinkish red in the middle for medium doneness. 
  4. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 3 minutes. Use a fork or your fingers to pull into bite-sized chunks.

Oil, Chile, and Garlic 
Cooked Oil, Chile, and Garlic
Seasoned Tuna Steak 
Tuna Beginning to Sear
After Turning
Coarsely Shred the Tuna
To serve, place shredded lettuce in the bottoms of the pita halves. Fill with tuna and top with salsa. Drizzle each lightly with chile-garlic oil, passing additional at the table.

Grilled Tuna Pitas with Mango-Avocado Salsa

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