Here are flavors of summer, without the grill. Each task in the recipe is brief. If you have helping hands in the kitchen, assign duties of zesting, searing, cutting the honeydew, jicama and jalapeno into matchsticks, cooking the tortillas, dressing the greens, you'll be done in less than 30 minutes.
Fresh, uncooked corn tortillas are a great addition to this recipe because they puff slightly as they cook and deliver more fresh corn flavor.
Adapted from "Dos Caminos Tacos: 100 Recipes for Everyone's Favorite Mexican Street Food," by Ivy Stark with Joanna Pruess (Countryman Press, 2014).
Tuna Tacos With Lime Aioli and Honeydew-Jicama Slaw
Makes 4 servings (makes 8 tacos)
For the tacos and aioli
1 jalapeno pepper
1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup packed watercress
8 or 16 corn tortillas (preferably fresh, uncooked)
One 8-ounce piece fresh tuna fillet
For the slaw
1/4 honeydew melon
1 medium jicama
2 jalapeno peppers
1 to 2 teaspoons agave nectar
For the tacos and aioli: Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet on high heat. Place the jalapeno in the pan, turning it to char thoroughly on all sides. Transfer to a cutting board to cool; keep the skillet over high heat.
Meanwhile, zest the lime into a bowl, then squeeze the juice into the bowl. Whisk in the mayonnaise.
Peel and seed the jalapeno once it's cool enough to handle, then mince the flesh; stir it into to the lime-mayo mixture.
Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar in a mixing bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Discard any thick stems of the watercress, then drop the greens into the oil-vinegar dressing and toss lightly to coat. Cook or heat each tortilla until browned in spots and fragrant, placing 2 (or 4, if you're doubling up) on each plate.
Cut the tuna into 4 equal portions. Season lightly with salt and pepper on all sides.
Brush the hot skillet with canola oil. Wait 15 seconds, then place the tuna pieces in the skillet. Cook for only 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side, so the outsides have whitened/seared but the interior is still rare. Transfer to a cutting board to rest.
For the slaw: Cut away and discard the rind of the honeydew. Cut the flesh into thin matchsticks, placing them in a bowl. Peel the jicama and discard the skin, then cut the flesh into thin matchsticks and add to the bowl. Stem and seed the jalapenos, then cut into thin matchsticks and add to the bowl.
Zest the lemon over the bowl, then drizzle the agave nectar (to taste) over the mixture. Toss gently.
Cut each piece of seared, rested tuna into thin slices.
Spoon some of the dressed watercress on each tortilla. Lay slices of the tuna on the greens. Pile some of the slaw on top, then dress with a dollop of the lime aioli.
Serve right away.
Nutrition per serving (based on 8 tortillas): 320 calories, 16 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 12 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 480 mg sodium, 5 g dietary fiber, 7 g sugar.