Grilled Tuna with Pesto; it’s hot and snarky here

A simple dollop of pesto sauce is a great accompaniment to grilled fish.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I am now, and likely will be all summer, using commercial pesto.

I had such high hopes this spring.

I pulled out the lavender and the rosemary that were taking over their respective areas in my herb garden, and replanted the areas with lots of parsley and 5 different kinds of basil.

I put eggshells around the basil (along with some little blue anti-snail pellets) to protect the tender plants from the snails and slugs.

But I didn’t have any problem with snails and slugs…..

Because the mole who moved in ate them all as he tunneled under my struggling basil plants on a daily basis.

Every morning I go out and tuck the little plants back into the dirt and collapse the tunnels.

Every night he digs them out again.

Please don’t bother to give me any sure-fire ways of getting rid him. I’ve tried them all…. Many, many times.

Tomorrow I’m going to buy some planters and put a few seeds on the balcony. We may not get fresh pesto but we ought to get a few leaves for a caprese salad.

This is good with any pesto.

Grilled Tuna with Pesto

Total time: 25 minutes


  • 2 tuna steaks, 6oz each (180gr), about 1″ (2.5 cm) thick, sushi-grade ahi if you can get it
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs ketchup
  • Pesto Sauce:
  • 2 tbs pesto
  • 1 tbs good olive oil
  • 1 tsp white Balsamic vinegar

Grilled Tuna with Pesto


  • Mix oregano, oil, vinegar and ketchup.
  • Brush onto tuna and let marinate for 10 – 25 minutes.
  • When ready grill over direct heat using grill basket, mat or directly on the grill, brushing with oil first.  Grill for 2 – 4 minutes per side for medium rare.  If not sushi-grade, cook until medium – medium well, still pink in the middle, 6 – 7 minutes per side, all times depending on thickness of tuna and personal taste.
  • Can also be cooked under broiler or sautéed in nonstick pan for roughly the same amount of time.
  • Pesto Sauce:
  • Mix pesto, olive oil and vinegar.
  • To finish:
  • Serve with 1 1/2 tbs Pesto Sauce on top of each steak.

Print Recipe

I’ve been on Pinterest again.

You see, it’s hot here. Yesterday was 39C (102F) and today is 38C (100F). It’s supposed to last another week, with a slight break tomorrow of only 35C (95F).

When it’s hot we open up the house in the morning to let cool air in, such as it is, then close it up, including closing the shutters, to keep the hot air out.

The heat outside plus the closed up dark house makes me bored and a wee bit cranky.

The boredom sends me to Pinterest (and Facebook, Twitter….) and the crankiness makes me want to leave snarky comments about the, ahem, perceived stupidity of others.

Fortunately, I am able to control myself and hit ‘delete’ instead of ‘publish’.

But there have been some close calls.

It took a vast amount of will-power to not comment on the tutorial on cutting a watermelon.

First…. how does one grow to adulthood, marry, and have children without ever having cut or eaten a watermelon? I posit that if you have eaten watermelon it should be obvious how it’s cut.  Okay, not if it’s cut into cute little shapes, but that’s not the norm. (Or is it?) It’s a big round fruit – cut it in half and slice it. Quarter the slices if you like. It’s not rocket science; I surely don’t need a 15 photo tutorial.

And why would you do all that on a table cloth? Supposedly to save cleaning up the mess – but then you have to launder the sticky, seedy encrusted cloth and the juice would seep through anyway.

Admittedly, I grew up in a house where the children were sent outside to eat their watermelon…. and no, we didn’t use plates and forks….. Where’s the fun in that? Can’t have a seed spitting contest in the house!

Then I saw a pin on Garlic Aioli, and the description was that it was ‘just a fancy mayonnaise’.

There was so much wrong with that statement that I actually typed 3 comments (all deleted) just to relieve my frustration.

I couldn’t bring myself to look at the recipe.

1st. Garlic Aioli. It is not possible to make aioli without garlic. Calling it Garlic Aioli is like saying your burger is made from beef ground beef or you have cabbage coleslaw. You can not make kale aioli – that would be something else.

2. Aioli (or Allioli if you’re in Spain) is not mayonnaise.
Mayonnaise is made with oil, egg yolk, lemon juice and/or vinegar. No garlic
French aioli is made with oil, egg yolk and garlic. No lemon or vinegar
Spanish aioli (allioli) is made with just olive oil and garlic. No egg yolk, lemon or vinegar
You’ll find my Spanish aioli recipe here. Be warned – it will knock your socks off if made properly. It’s very hot!.

We won’t even talk about the Vegetarian Cassoulet (baked beans anyone?) BTW, I made Cassoulet for our friends – they heartily approved.

Finally, some bright spark decided to put cookie dough on top of a cupcake. Now I couldn’t bring myself to check out the details of this one either so I don’t know if the big blob on top was raw cookie dough (why would one eat that?) or if they had somehow managed to bake a domed cookie on top of a cupcake (why would anyone do that?)

Okay, one more….. I just saw a ‘perfect for a picnic crockpot 3 ingredient meatball recipe’. The ingredients were: grape jelly, bottled barbecue sauce and purchased meatballs.

Well, sweet cheeks, I hate to tell you, but that recipe has been around since the ’50’s At least they made the meatballs from scratch and did the whole thing in a chafing dish, not a crockpot.

If this heatwave is lasting another week I need to come up with a more calming past time. Maybe I’ll go through my cook books – or, better idea, my photography books.

Anything to control my inner-curmudgeon.

9 thoughts on “Grilled Tuna with Pesto; it’s hot and snarky here”

  1. I am so-o glad I’m not the only one who “talks back” to the idiotic posts on FB and Pinterest! I’d also be happy to channel some of our very cool air your way–but there’s as much likelihood of being able to do that as there is to avoid the inane suggestions….

  2. Katie we love pesto of any kind especially on fish/seafood. I have had great success growing basil in large containers. We had huge difficulty with slugs, but once I used a container, I had tons of basil. In recent years I have been adding garlic scapes to my pesto….divine, and then freezing it. The pesto usually keeps us till January, at which point I will buy store bought. It is not too bad actually. We are in the same heat wave as you are….perhaps not quite as hot but dang close…..heading for another swim tonite. Stay cool!

  3. Good advice from phoeniciasorchids. That is really hot weather! Didn’t know France got that hot! We are having a heat wave, too, but here that means 80F.

  4. I suspect in our absence my thriving tarragon bush went the way of your basil!

    La Plage on our local river has kept us sane at the start of the heat but yesterday we had to drive to Caen. Thankfully it was a bit cooler near the coast and across the Channel.

  5. I don’t have moles, I have voles and they managed to tunnel under all of my Iris in the back flower bed. I kept pushing the rhizomes back in the morning and they were all on top of the dirt by dinner time. I’m not a person who normally condones murder, but it’s time to push the mole traps into the ground. As to the basil, I’m so sorry. I’d gladly give you some of whatever I’ve been pulling out of the ground for the past two weeks (lemon balm I think though I can’t quite put my nose on the scent) because it’s taking over everything! But that probably wouldn’t make a good pesto…

    And I’ve made the mistake a couple times of pushing the ‘publish’ button. You’d think I’d have learned after the first one, but no.

  6. Karen, I always claim to be talking to the dogs when someone hears my commentary….

    Phoenicia, skip the suit and pass the Sangria! May have to if it keeps up.

    Pam, no, it has to be mature garlic to get the heat from the allicis. Lots of other wonderful things to do with the green garlic, tho…

    Ina, I now have to window boxes with basil seedlings….. There’s hope.

    Zoomie, it seems to happen every few years but it’s not the norm. The last bad one was 2004 – thousands of people died. It lasted a month…..

    Gill, these old houses start out cool, but eventually, they heat up as well… We need some cool nights to get the walls cool LOL

    nightsmusic, we have voles, too, but, so far, they’ve not damaged my herbs of veggies. All things in time I fear. Sometimes one can delete after publish…. not always I’ve learned

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