Monday, June 6, 2011

Seared Tuna with Olive Tapenade Vinaigrette and Arugula

On Saturday Alex and I went to Chelsea Market after having lunch at The Spotted Pig.  I went a little crazy at The Lobster Place buying fresh seafood.  There were these amazing Mayan Shrimp from Guatemala (biggest shrimp I have ever seen - more on that later), gorgeous ruby red tuna steaks, huge lobsters, Dungeness crab, etc.  If good seafood wasn't so expensive I would have gone buckwild.  But I managed to restrain myself with 3 things - the Mayan shrimp, the tuna and some nice wild salmon.  I know it's lame that I always buy salmon, but I can't resist.  It's delicious, easy to cook and one of my favorite fish.  Next time I promise to get something a little more exotic.  Anyway, back to my tuna!  When we cooked up the recipe in my last post about tuna, Seared Tuna with Green Onion Wasabi Sauce, I had two other recipes that I really wanted to make, but we didn't happen to have the ingredients at the time.  So I decided to go ahead and make one of them, only once again we didn't have all of the ingredients.  But I picked the recipe that required the fewest ingredients we didn't have at home (in this case basil and baguette) and ran by Fairway on the way home from work.

I have to say that the tapenade in this dish was fantastic.  I have never thought to add balsamic vinegar, basil and lemon zest to olive tapenade but it really worked.  I also never would have thought to serve tuna steaks with olive tapenade, but that worked too.  The tapenade was equally delicious when drizzled over the tuna steaks or spread on the toasted baguette slices and provided a ton of flavor.  Without the tapenade the tuna steaks would have been a little blah, but with the tapenade it was a completely different dish.  I might try out the tapenade with other dishes - perhaps with some roast chicken breasts or a nice seared piece of striped bass.  I'm not sure if I will make this tuna recipe the next time I pick up some nice tuna steaks, but I am glad that I finally got the chance to try it.

Recipe after the jump!

Seared Tuna with Olive Tapenade Vinaigrette and Arugula
May 2010

1/2 cup chopped mixed-olive tapenade
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
8 1/2-inch-thick diagonal baguette slices
4 6-ounce ahi tuna steaks (each about 3/4 to 1 inch thick)
4 cups (packed) baby arugula

Mix tapenade, onion, basil, 5 tablespoons oil, vinegar, and lemon peel in medium bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Brush baguette slices and tuna on both sides with oil. Sprinkle tuna with salt and pepper. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add baguette slices; toast until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to plate. Add tuna to same skillet; cook to desired doneness, 1 to 2 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Divide arugula among 4 plates. Cut tuna into slices; arrange atop arugula. Spoon tapenade vinaigrette over tuna. Place 2 baguette slices alongside each and serve.

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