Tuna is not one of my favorite fish. It's frequently dry and chewy, except when it's rare, and unless you buy a really thick hunk of really high quality fish, it's difficult to get it rare to perfection -- if the piece is thin it cooks to an unpleasant looking grayish color.
But tuna burgers? I love them. Because grinding or chopping the flesh makes it tender, even when the burger is well-done. And the color is just fine for burgers, especially because the outside surfaces crisp to a gorgeous golden brown whether you grill, broil or saute them.
I don't mix in too many seasonings when making tuna burgers. Instead, I add flavor with a tangy condiment to serve with the tuna burger on the roll. Recently I mixed the fish with chopped fresh chives -- the only herb I have been successful in growing in my garden this year -- and served the burgers with mayonnaise mixed with chopped kalamata olives and a hint of lemon peel.
This recipe is extremely easy, also quick to cook. Just perfect for casual, summertime eating, meatless/dairy meals and any old time.
Tuna Burgers with Olive Mayo
- 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped kalamata olives
- 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel
- 20 ounces fresh tuna
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 1 large clove garlic, chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 rolls
- lettuce, spinach or arugula leaves
- 4 slices tomato
Preheat an outdoor grill or oven broiler (or use a sauté pan). Mix the mayonnaise, olives and lemon peel together and set aside in the refrigerator.
Chop the tuna into very fine pieces (or pulse in a food processor). Place the fish in a mixing bowl. Add the chives and garlic and some salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Shape the mixture into 4 patties. Brush the remaining olive oil over the surface of each patty. Grill or broil the burgers for 2-4 minutes per side or until lightly browned and crispy on both sides and cooked to the degree of doneness preferred. OR, pour the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan and fry the burgers for 2-4 minutes per side over medium-high heat.
Spread equal amounts of the mayonnaise mixture on the bottom side of each roll. Place a lettuce leaf on top, then top with a slice of tomato. Place the burger on top of the tomato. Cover with the top of the roll.