Gail Simmons says canned tuna is perfect for summer recipes – Low Calorie Diets Tips

Gail Simmons says she gravitates towards a Mediterranean diet during the summer, including grilled vegetables and high-quality canned tuna. (Photo: Genova Premium Tuna; designed by Quinn Lemmers)

Because food connects us all, Yahoo Life serves up tons of table talk with people who are passionate about what’s on their menu eraseda series about food.

It’s almost summer and when the weather gets warmer, top chef Judge Gail Simmons keeps it cool in the kitchen with a Mediterranean diet.

“Mediterranean cuisine is so diverse and eclectic,” Simmons told Yahoo Life. “It’s a lot of fruits and vegetables and more plant-based, fish-based and seafood-based eating. That’s how I want to eat in the summer anyway. I don’t have to stand by the stove and stew for two hours. “

Simmons spoke to Yahoo Life as part of her work promoting Genova Premium Tuna, but her appreciation for quality canned seafood dates back to her college days. “It was an eye opener when I was in college and spending a year in Spain,” she says, “when I understood what they meant when they talked about canned seafood and its high quality: seafood freshly canned and real just serve, we won’t talk about that [canned tuna] Product of our youth – we are talking about quality ingredients that really enhance your kitchen.”

Simmons says if she could only eat one cuisine for the rest of her life, she would choose simple, flavorful Mediterranean food.  (Photo: Genova Premium Tuna)

Simmons says if she could only eat one cuisine for the rest of her life, she would choose simple, flavorful Mediterranean food. (Photo: Genova Premium Tuna)

With her Genova Premium Tuna, which she describes as “big fillets of yellowtail or albacore tuna” wrapped in just olive oil and salt, Simmons has created a summertime staple, her Tuna Romesco Salad Board.

“Romesco is a Mediterranean, Spanish spice,” she explains. “Like a spread or dip with roasted peppers and almonds and cherry tomatoes and olive oil all thrown in a blender. With this I can grill simple veggies and make some marinated artichokes and some nice olives and really good quality cheese on a tuna salad board.”

This colorful dish is one that even their kids who are 4 and 8 years old love. But how did the author of Bringing home: Favorite recipes from a lifetime of adventurous eating habits get her children adventurous eaters?

“I find, especially with my slightly older daughter, that they really take ownership of the food that they make and are more open to eating new things once they’ve been involved,” says Simmons. “I think they’re better eaters because they love to get their hands dirty in the kitchen and then appreciate the fruits of their labor.”

As a child growing up in Toronto, Canada, Simmons said she learned to appreciate food from her parents, who both traveled extensively and cooked in their own home.

“My mom was a great cook and used to do her shopping in Chinatown,” she recalls. “They had the freshest food, whether it was seafood or fresh vegetables. It was really ahead of her time and she made friends with a lot of grocers and restaurants there.”

“When we were kids, we used to love going to a few restaurants in Chinatown,” she adds. “I always remember that we knew the owner of this one place well enough that we knew not to order from the regular menu because that’s what all tourists would order. My mom ordered what he and his family ate directly from him, and that’s how we learned to eat.”

As a teenager, Simmons recalls visiting a “dive site” in Toronto, where she ordered chicken wings. “They made the best chicken wings ever and I was totally addicted to them,” she says. “They had this really good ranch sauce … I can make a good chicken wing, but nothing quite like theirs — there’s just something about it.”

Now that she’s in charge of her own kitchen, Simmons says she’d eat “dark chocolate and eggs” if she could choose just one food for the rest of her life. “But not together,” she adds.

“If I could choose a cuisine…I would go to the Mediterranean because it reminds me of sun and summer and seasonality and simplicity,” she says. “This is how I want to eat: Lots of fruit and veg and whole grains, but also lots of quality olive oil and endless ingredients.”

Genova Tuna Romesco Salad Board

Courtesy of Gail Simmons and Genova premium tuna

(Photo: Genova Premium Tuna)

(Photo: Genova Premium Tuna)

“One philosophy I’ve always believed in,” Simmons says, “is to cook with some really quality ingredients. You don’t have to do much with them to make them shine, they’re good for you, they’re versatile and really enhance your cooking, whether you’re cooking at home for family on a Wednesday night or throwing a dinner party for friends.”


Romesco ingredients

  • 3 large Roma tomatoes

  • 1 roasted red bell pepper (skin removed and seeded or canned), roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup toasted salted almonds or marcona almonds

  • 1 garlic clove, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for tuna board

  • 2 Cans of Genova Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

  • 1 bunch spring onions or scallions, ends trimmed

  • 1 lemon, halved crosswise

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 yellow or green zucchini, sliced ​​diagonally into 1/2-inch slices, halved lengthwise if long

  • 1 bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 1-inch pieces

  • 1/2 cup toasted salted almonds or marcona almonds

  • 1/2 cup halved marinated artichokes, drained and patted dry

  • 1 bunch small radishes, halved

  • 1/2 cup green olives

  • 1/2 cup black olives

  • 4 ounces manchego cheese, cut into triangles

  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped


  1. Preheat grill. Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Place the tomatoes on the sheet pan and grill until well charred on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Place the tomatoes in a bowl, allow to cool slightly, then remove the skin, core and seeds and roughly chop. Reserve the seeds and inner pulp for another use (see note below).

  2. In the bowl of a blender, combine tomatoes, roasted red peppers, almonds, garlic, vinegar, paprika, chili flakes if using, salt and pepper until a lumpy paste forms. With the mixer on high speed, slowly drizzle in the oil, scraping down the sides of the mixer if necessary, until well incorporated but still rustic in texture. Place the romesco in a bowl and season to taste. Cover and let the romesco rest at room temperature for an hour before serving.

  3. While the romesco is resting, prepare the board. Begin by draining the tuna and setting aside in a bowl. Set a grill or griddle over medium-high heat and brush with olive oil. Grill the scallions or scallions until charred and just tender, about four minutes per side. Grill the lemon halves, flesh-side down, until grill marks appear, about three minutes. Place the onions and lemon on a large plate and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Toss zucchini and peppers in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until charred and just tender, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to the same plate to cool.

  5. Assemble the board just before the guests arrive. Using a large spoon, scoop a generous amount of romesco into the center of your board. Use the back of a spoon to spread the romesco in a wide circle with a hollow in the centre. Carefully place the Genova Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil in the well. Arrange the grilled, marinated, and raw vegetables, cheese, charred lemon halves, and almonds around the romesco and tuna. Sprinkle the tuna with the chopped parsley just before serving.

  6. Note: Romesco can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

  7. Tip: the pits and inner flesh of the grilled tomato can be used to thin out the romesco later, if needed, and to make the traditional Spanish pan con tomate (toasted bread rubbed with garlic, topped with chopped tomato, salt and olive oil).

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