A Father’s Day Feast

This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.

The New York Sun

Traditionally, Father’s Day is the occasion when we give our dads things they don’t really need, from cufflinks to anti-gravity recliners from the Sharper Image catalog. The same goes for Father’s Day dinner. Does Dad really need a dose of New York strip at the local steakhouse? Instead, opt for a homemade meal that nourishes the heart instead of endangering it.

That doesn’t mean a punishing dinner of salt-free, fat-free cooking. Though heart disease is the no. 1 killer of American men (and women), heart-healthy eating is as much about what we do eat as what we leave out.

So treat your dad to a dinner that boasts plenty of heart-healthy ingredients and a simple, guy-friendly approach. The star of the show is wild Pacific salmon, which is in season. It’s a delicious treat that has plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids, and you can grill it for a smoky flavor. Pair it with avocado and olive oil, since they’re packed with monounsaturated fats that benefit arteries and increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. For a sweet finish, go for pies or tarts featuring the mighty blueberry, an antioxidant powerhouse that has been shown to improve cardiovascular health. Sweet and good for your heart – just like Dad.

Grilled Tuna with Avocado – Tomatillo

This recipe, adapted from “Bobby Flay’s Boy Gets Grill” (Scribner, $30), features three heart-healthy foods: salmon, olive oil, and avocado. The sauce can be made up to 2 hours in advance; bring to room temperature before serving.

For the sauce:

8 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 jalapeno chiles
1/4 cup canola oil, plus extra for brushing
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
4 ripe Hass avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 small red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

For the tuna: 4 (8-ounce) salmon fillets or steaks, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat your grill (or a grill pan) over high heat. Brush the tomatillos and chiles with canola oil and season all over with salt and pepper. Grill the tomatillos and chiles, turning, until blackened on all sides. Remove from the grill and coarsely chop the tomatillos. Stem, seed, and chop the chiles.

Combine the tomatillos, chiles, lime juice, and honey in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, gradually pour in the 1/4 cup of canola oil and the 1/4 cup of olive oil and blend until emulsified. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the avocados, onion, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the salmon, heat the grill or the grill pan over high heat. Brush the fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the salmon until crusty and browned grill marks appear on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the fish over and grill until medium-rare (rosy-pink and translucent in the center), 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Remove the salmon from the grill and spoon the sauce over each piece. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

The New York Sun

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