Fall Flavors- Arugula, Ahi and More

As stated in an earlier post, fall already began for me when kids went back to school. But the Autumnal Equinox this past Sunday marks fall seasonally, with the moon and stars and such. In keeping with the Fall theme, I thought some recipes that celebrate fall produce would be both appropriate and appreciated.

The first recipe is one of my favorites at a local restaurant. It’s Ahi tuna on a bed of arugula with a killer black olive vinaigrette. The black olive vinaigrette is also delicious on steak. I have a ritual. once or twice a month, I take myself out to lunch. A special me date. I began doing this when I read and did the exercises for An Artist’s Way. And lunch dates with myself are something that I’ve kept up ever since. It makes me feel good and I get to explore eateries that other members of my family don’t share an interest in and are happy to let me go by myself. It works out well. Especially when I get to eat yummy things like Ahi Tuna- something my other family members abhor.

Ahi Tuna with Arugula, Mushrooms and Baby Potatoes

3-4 Ahi tuna steaks
16-20 baby potatoes
4 large portabello mushrooms, sliced in strips
1 large package argula
1/4 sundried tomatoes packed in oil
2 ounces goat cheese
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 cup+ 4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup red wine or champagne vinegar or vinegar/lemon juice combo
1/2 kalamata olives, chopped or torn in pieces
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
salt & pepper

1. In a skillet over medium heat, saute onions in 2 tbsps olive oil until almost caramelized. Add garlic and cook until onions are caramelized and garlic is cooked but not burnt.

2. While onions are carmelizing, in large bowl whisk together remaining olive oil, vinegar or vinegar/lemon juice combo with the dijon mustard. Add sundried tomatoes and kalamata olives.

3. Transfer onions and garlic to bowl with dressing. Add 2 more tbsp of oil to skillet and saute mushrooms until soft and tender. Transfer to bowl with dressing. Stir everything together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let dressing sit for at least 2 hours so flavors meld.

4. Boil potatoes until just done to fork tender. Cut into quarters. Set aside. While potatoes are boiling, quick sear the Ahi so only the outside is cooked. Slice Ahi once seared to serve.

5. Toss the arugula and potato quarters in in the dressing. When plating, mound arugula and potatoes on plate along with Ahi and dollops of goat cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!


Figs are a wonderful yet underrated fruit. Cooked figs are a perfect accompaniment to cheese plates. Almost as perfect as grapes or pears. The recipe below is delicious on vanilla ice cream or over a chunk of blue cheese. It’s a terrific fruit sauce for roasted pork tenderloin as well. Very versatile.

Honey Bake Figs

12 fresh figs
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
4 tsp honey
2 tblsp cold butter, cut into 12 pieces
2 tblsp water

1. Heat the oven to 425°F. Cut the stems off the figs. Rub the oil over the figs and put them in a baking pan, stem-side up. Cut a cross (X) in the top of each fig, cutting almost to the bottom.

2. Drizzle the honey over the figs. Top each one with a piece of the butter. Bake the figs until they open up like flowers, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.

3.Put the figs on plates, add the water to the pan, return the pan to the oven for 1 minute, and then stir to make a sauce. Drizzle the sauce over the warm figs and serve.

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