Grilled Tuna Salad Sandwiches with Lemon-Habanero Mayonnaise and Watercress

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors(yellow, orange,green, red,chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique,distinctively fruity flavor.

It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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3 cups fresh lemon juice
1/2 to 1 whole habanero chile, chopped (only use the whole if you like it hot)
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 cup best-quality mayonnaise
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 large stalk celery, finely diced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 (8 oz.) tuna steaks
olive oil
8 slices hearty bread (Italian, French, ciabatta, or country white)
fresh watercress


Heat the grill to high. Place the lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil on the grates of the grill. Cook until it reduces to 1/2 cup. Remove from the grill and let it cool slightly. Leave the grill on high heat.

Place the lemon syrup, habanero, lemon zest and mayonnaise in a blender and blend until smooth. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the onions, celery, and parsley and set aside.

Brush the tuna with oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill for 3 minutes per side or until it is slightly charred and cooked to medium doneness. Remove the tuna from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting into a small dice or flaking it with a fork. Add the flaked tuna to the mayonnaise mixture and gently mix until combined. Divide the tuna salad among the 4 slices of bread. Top the salad with a few sprigs of watercress and top with the remaining bread slices.

Recipe by Bobby Flay.