1 x 1lb Tuna Loin (skin & blood line removed)
2ea. Heads of Baby Romaine Lettuce
1 x 6 inch Baguette
2 oz Black Olives
20ea. Cherry Tomatoes
4oz French Beans
1floz Olive Oil
20 Sprigs of Chervil Dressing 1floz Balsamic Vinegar
3floz Olive Oil
1tbls Grain Mustard
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Cut wash and drain the lettuce, slice the baguette on the bias toss the slices with olive oil and toast under the grill. Pit and dice the olives, cut the tomatoes in half, shave the radish as thinly as possible. Top and tail the beans and cook in boiling salted water, drain and plunge in to an ice-cold water bath.
- Once cold remove them from the water and reserve along side the other salad components.
Dressing Blend the vinegar, olive oil, mustard and honey. Season with salt and pepper. (When I do this at home in such a small quantity, I place all the ingredients in a well washed plastic Coke or Pepsi bottle, and shake like crazy. It works just as well with no washing up to do and what's left can remain stored in the bottle.)
- Cut the tuna length ways into four "logs". This will give you a better presentation and more surface to sear. Season the tuna well and sear in a hot skillet with a touch of olive oil. Twenty seconds on each side will be sufficient so long as you keep the pan on a high heat.
- Remove the tuna from the pan. Toss together the romaine, olives, French beans, tomatoes and radish with the dressing, place the salad in its serving bowls, slice the tuna and place one piece on each crouton. Arrange the croutons on the salad and garnish with sprigs of chervil.
Big Eye Tuna
- As the seasons change the most reliable tuna type to bring in to your kitchen is probably Big Eye.
Big Eye Tuna (thunnus obesus) named after its bulging eyes, is available year round and is found both in Atlantic and Pacific waters. In Hawaii, the big eye is known as the Ahi. The meat is dark and oily with a ruby-red color. If you buy a fish whole it will take about twelve to twenty four hours, from the time it is cut for the fish's natural oils to raise to the surface and display its true color. Many professionals feel that Big Eye is a more consistent buy than yellow fin and will hold its color several days longer.
As the majority of the tuna caught is processed at sea, when buying loins Look for a good firm piece of meat and a bright blood line, you will find a loin can range from eight to forty pounds. Tuna bellies are a rare commodity, and the majority is shipped to New York or Tokyo. Hold the fish packed in ice, and keep it away from water as this discolors the flesh. Big Eye is harvested using longlines (dozens of miles with hundreds of hooks), this fishing method does result in bycatch including swordfish, sharks, marine mammals and occasional sea birds that swoop down to catch the bait from the line. The longline fishermen can often be at sea for two to six weeks.
If you would like to avoid fish caught with long lines, ask your purveyor to let you know when they buy an incidental catch. This is fish that has been caught by chance often by day boats who are out fishing for other species like striped bass or grouper, and may have the good fortune to land a tuna. This is normally "rod and reel fishing" . Capitalizing on it can get you a really fresh fish as the catch will often be shipped within twenty four hours of being caught.
Tuna Wine Pairing
This undoubtedly calls for a white wine with high acidy. This would compliment the Tuna, French beans and romaine on the plate. Though with this simple presentation I would be hesitant to pair it with something too over powering, with the subtleness of tuna a big "oaky" Chardonnay or Riesling might mask the main component too much. So I would consider a simple Italian white like a Greco di Tufo. The largest and most prestigious producer in this region is Mastroberardino. Also I might think of the Pinot Gris grape grown here in the US, a couple of producers that I enjoy are Chalk Hill and King Estate.