Sophisticated Savories

Sophisticated Savories

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ahi Tuna salad with Herbs de Provence

Ahi Tuna salad with Herbs de Provence

One of my favorite dried herbs to use is herbs de Provence. Generally a mix of: rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram and lavender, the concoction was deemed "herbs de Provence" in the 1970s.

When working with ahi tuna, it is generally paired with more Asian-inspired dishes... sesame seeds, sesame seed oils, wasabi, sushi, sashimi, etc. However, ahi tuna can also be enjoyed with a more French/Mediterranean influence.

Ahi Tuna salad.

No, I am not talking about the canned tuna, smothered in mayonnaise and often left at a balmy room-temperature on the buffet table line. Well, if we garnish it with kale and throw in a few grapes then at least we tried.

No. Not better.

Rather, lightly seared ahi tuna with fresh vegetables. Let's try this one on for size, shall we?

Season a fillet of ahi tuna with salt, pinch of cayenne pepper and a nice "crust" of herbs de Provence (covering all sides of the fish). Heat extra-virgin olive oil on a medium-high non-stick pan. Many individuals consume ahi raw; however, from time to time I will give my tuna quick "kiss" on the stove top in order to create a slight sear and impart more flavors into the meat. Once the oil is warm, quickly sear all sides of the fillet (only about 10 seconds on each side). Again, the goal is not to cook through the entire fish; but rather, help infuse the olive oil and herbs de Provence into the tuna crust. After all sides are kissed, remove the fillet from the pan and allow to cool. Dice into small cubes with a serrated knife and mix in a few diced cucumbers.

Keep the garnish simple. I shaved a cucumber thin, then wrapped it around a small mound of lightly seared ahi tuna. A few edible flowers and microgreens/mache leaves complimented the pink tuna. A few drizzles of reduced balsamic vinaigrette and drops of Dijon mustard were the final key components. Before serving, squeeze a hint of fresh lemon upon the tuna.

Clean. Simple. Healthy.

"Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify. Simplify." - Henry David Thoreau


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