PAN-SEARED TUNA STEAKS WITH NICOISE VINAIGRETTE (for four)
For the vinaigrette:
1 small garlic clove
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup finely chopped pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
½ cup finely chopped drained bottled roasted red peppers
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons drained capers, finely chopped
2 flat anchovy fillets, minced
¼ cup minced scallions
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
7 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing the pan
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the tuna and vegetables:
1 pound small fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and halved lengthwise
1 pound French beans, washed and trimmed
2 pints grape tomatoes, washed and halved lengthwise
2 sushi-grade, ahi tuna steaks, 1-½ to 2 inches thick (about 2 pounds total)
olive oil for brushing the grill pan and the tuna
1 teaspoon sugar
hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered lengthwise, to accompany
lemon wedges to accompany
- Make the vinaigrette. Using a large knife, mince and mash garlic to a paste with salt. Combine garlic paste, olives, roasted red peppers, parsley, capers, anchovies, scallions, vinegar and oil in a bowl and stir to blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Prepare the vegetables. Steam the potatoes and beans individually in a medium pot fitted with a vegetable steamer until just tender. The potatoes should take 8 to 10 minutes, and the beans 4 to 5. Rinse them briefly under cold tap water, pat them dry with paper towels, and place them in individual bowls. Toss each with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Put the tomatoes in a third bowl and toss them with 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette as well.
- Sear the tuna. Pat the tuna dry, brush it on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle it with sugar (the sugar caramelizes quickly and will create grill marks despite the short cooking time). Brush a 12-inch grill pan with oil and put it over high heat until it is smoking. Add the tuna and cook, turning once, until the surface is seared but the interior is still uncooked, no more than 1 minute per side for rare.
- Cut tuna into ¼ inch thick slices, transfer tuna to plates and spoon sauce over it. Surround with vegetables, garnish with eggs and serve with lemon wedges.
adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook