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Archive for November 16th, 2010

Tuna with Roasted Garlic and Cherry Tomatoes, Rosemary, and Black Olives

Serves 4 to 6

30 cherry tomatoes, halved
12 garlic cloves
olive oil, for cooking
salt and freshly ground black pepper
20 to 30 black olives, pitted
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (try our Traditional or Red Apple Balsamic)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (try our Garlic or Lemon EVOO)
1 fresh albacore tuna steak per person
arugula or mixed salad leaves, to serve

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the halved tomatoes and garlic in a roasting pan with a little olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Add the olives and rosemary and toss gently to coat everything with the oil. Roast for 25 minutes. When the tomatoes are cooked, remove the pan from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes–this will allow the juices to be released to make the sauce; add the balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to the roasting pan to make a warm vinaigrette.

Heat some oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium to high heat. Season the tuna steaks with salt and black pepper. Do not overload the pan with cold fish, or the temperature will drop and the fish will boil rather than be seared; instead cook the fish in two or three batches. Sear the tuna in the frying pan for 1 minute, gently turn it over, and cook it for another minute for rare; if you prefer medium-rare, allow about another 20 seconds on each side, but no more. When removed from the pan, the fish will continue cooking from the residual heat and the salty, acidic marinade.

Remove the seared tuna from the pan and set aside. Scatter some arugula or mixed leaves over a large platter. Spoon half of the tomato mixture over the arugula and then arrange the seared tuna steaks on top. When you are ready to serve, spoon over the remaining tomato mixture with its warm juices. The tuna is meaty in taste and the tomatoes and garlic are rustic and robustly flavored, so I would suggest a light red wine such as a chilled Pinot Noir as an accompaniment.

This dish looks great served on a platter in the middle of the table, or if you prefer, you could plate the tuna individually. If you don’t have any rosemary, use sprigs of thyme or marjoram–all these herbs work well with the combined flavors of the tomatoes, garlic, and olives.

from Fish Tales by Bart van Olphen.

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