Tuna and Red Bean Salad

Padma says: This is one of those versatile salads that makes a great lunch for 4, served with just some fresh baked bread, or a nice, light starter for 6 people. It's a great for summer because the only cooking involves lighting the grill. It's also healthy enough to help you prepare for bathing suit season.

Dressing: Juice of 1 very ripe lemon 1/4 cup olive oil 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano salt

Salad: 12-ounce tuna steak, about 1 inch thick 5 ounces mixed baby lettuces and field greens 10 ounces fresh of frozen artichoke bottoms, blanched if frozen, scraped and cored, steamed, and quartered if fresh 1 cup sliced English cucumber 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes 1/2 cup fresh-snipped chives 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 10-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Cooking Instructions: Light the grill so that the coals get nice and hot. When the flames have died down and the coals are glowing red and white, sear the tuna on the grill for about 3 minutes on each side; the exact time will depend on the tuna's thickness and how rare you want it.

Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or screw-top jar.

Lay a bed of lettuce and field greens in a large salad bowl or platter

In a separate bowl toss together the artichokes, cucumber, tomatoes, chives, parsley, and drained kidney beans.

Spoon this vegetable mixture in a mound in the center of the greens.

Slice the tuna steak into 1/4-inch slices. Lay the slices decoratively over the mound of vegetables.

Just before serving, drizzle the dressing evenly over the salad.

Serves 4-6

All Recipes: From Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet, published by Weinstein Books (October 2007).