Seared Tuna with Tapenade
 Recipe created by Suzanne Goin
This spicy tuna needs little in the way of embellishment, except perhaps for a fabulously flavorful potato salad.
Servings: Serves 6
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound tuna steak , 1 inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel or kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup black olives (niçoise and Nyons), pitted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons capers , coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 clove garlic , pressed with a garlic press
  • 1/2 anchovy fillet , mashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • Pinch freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Davidson's pasteurized egg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic , crushed through a press
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes , peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 scallion , sliced on the bias
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch watercress , tops picked and stems removed
Directions
In a small skillet, toast coriander and fennel seeds over medium heat until fragrant, 3 minutes. Cool. Process in a spice grinder until finely ground. Combine spices with cracked pepper; rub over all sides of tuna. Cover tuna with plastic wrap, and marinate in the refrigerator 4 hours or overnight.

In a medium bowl, combine olives, olive oil, parsley, capers, garlic, anchovy, lemon zest, and pepper. Set aside.

In a blender, combine 1/4 cup olive oil, egg, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and red pepper. Blend until combined. Remove center of cover (or entire cover) and, at low speed, slowly pour remaining 3/4 cup olive oil into mixture in a steady stream; continue blending until thick. (Makes about 1 cup.)

Arrange potatoes in a steamer basket set over 1 inch simmering water. Cover and steam until tender, 15 minutes. Cool, then coarsely chop. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, 1/4 cup aioli, scallion, lemon juice, and salt. Reserve remaining aioli.

Sprinkle both sides of tuna with fleur de sel, and drizzle with olive oil. Heat a cast-iron pan or heavy skillet until very hot. Add tuna, and cook until pink in center, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until desired doneness. Set aside to cool. With a sharp knife, cut tuna into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Scatter watercress over a large platter. Place potato salad over watercress and arrange pieces of tuna on top. Spoon tapenade over fish and around potatoes.

Recommended ingredients: Ground coriander and fennel may be substituted for whole seeds. Davidson's pasteurized eggs are available online at safeeggs.com. Fleur de sel is available online at chefshop.com or at specialty food markets.

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