Seared Ahi and Avocado Salad…plus 8 Summertime Dinners on the Panini Press

If there ever was a time to pull out your panini press – or Foreman grill or any other tabletop grill – it’s right now, in the middle of July, in the thick of the summer heat! Let the panini press be your secret weapon for making dinner without having to turn on the oven or stand over a hot outdoor grill.

My new Seared Ahi and Avocado Salad recipe is one of 8 Summertime Dinners on the Panini Press I’m sharing with you today. Bookmark this one – we’ve still got a lot of summer left to go!

Seared Ahi and Avocado Salad ...from

First, let’s talk about this Seared Ahi and Avocado Salad. It’s inspired by one of my best friends who doesn’t consider herself to be much of a cook but is the queen of our local takeout scene. A favorite order of hers is a seared ahi salad that’s been tossed in ginger vinaigrette with goodies like avocado, edamame, roasted red bell peppers, and greens. With the tuna on top (seared on the panini press in just 90 seconds!) it’s substantial enough for dinner, but it’s still light and cool for summer. I love it!

I’ve got lots of great ideas for making summertime dinners on the panini press – a few of my favorites (in addition to today’s salad) include:

Stay cool…and happy grilling!

Seared Ahi and Avocado Salad

Recipe by Kathy Strahs,

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 2 minutes | Total time: 22 minutes

Yield: 4 servings



  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (1-pound) sashimi-grade ahi tuna steak, about 1 inch thick
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ginger Vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 head butter lettuce, torn into large pieces
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced roasted red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup shelled cooked edamame, thawed if frozen
  • 1 medium-size ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced


  1. Tuna: Heat the panini press to high heat. If your panini press comes with a removable drip tray, make sure it is in place.
  2. Brush the olive oil over both sides of the tuna and season the tuna with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill the tuna, with the lid closed, until it’s seared on the outside but still bright red on the inside, about 90 seconds. Transfer the fish to a cutting board and slice it thinly across the grain.
  4. Ginger Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, ginger, honey, mustard, and sugar. Gradually whisk in the olive oil Season the vinaigrette with black pepper to taste.
  5. Salad: Toss the lettuce, onion, peppers, edamame, and 2 tablespoons of the ginger vinaigrette together in a large bowl.
  6. Divide the salad among four plates. Arrange slices of tuna and avocado on top of each salad and drizzle more ginger vinaigrette over the top (you probably will have extra dressing for a later use).



KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
~ Kathy Strahs
>> About Me

All-Time Reader Favorites!

Panini 101

Recent Posts


Permission Policy

All recipes, text and photographs on this site are the original creations and property of Panini Happy. Do not post or publish anything from this site without full credit and a direct link to the original post. with any requests or questions.

Browse Panini

Leave a Comment


  1. What a fantastic idea to use the panini press to sear tuna. That never would have occurred to me! That’s even more reason for me to take the leap and buy a good panini press (reason #549).

    Posted 7.17.13 Reply
    • Kathy Strahs wrote:

      I’ll give you reason #550 – I mentioned you in my book!! 🙂

      Posted 7.17.13 Reply
  2. Colleen wrote:

    What a pretty plate! Looks delicious!

    Posted 7.18.13 Reply
    • Kathy Strahs wrote:

      Thanks, Colleen!

      Posted 7.18.13 Reply
  3. I love my Foreman Grill, i believe it was one of my best purchases.
    Your dish looks so good, especially when we don’t wanna slave during summers.a

    Posted 7.19.13 Reply
  4. Robin Bennett wrote:

    Kathy, this looks really good. I might have to get my husband to make this for me.


    Posted 7.21.13 Reply
  5. Nessa wrote:

    I just love fresh Ahi tuna! Yum 🙂

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  6. Genius, Kathy! This salad looks amazing! 🙂

    Posted 7.23.13 Reply
  7. Yum! This, my husband would thoroughly enjoy 🙂 it looks so flavorful!

    Posted 7.26.13 Reply