PAN-SEARED TUNA STEAKS WITH PEPPER ROSEMARY CRUST AND SALSA VERDE (for six)
This is Mario Batali’s take on tuna grilled like a Fiorentina, not a typical Italian preparation. “Florentines would never eat their tuna rare,” Mario notes, “they’d grill it until well done or poach it slowly in olive oil.” Nevertheless, he recommends serving this tuna grilled very rare. “If you want your tuna more cooked than that, throw the steaks directly into the trash bin and buy some cans of good tuna instead.” Mario Batali, Italian Grill
3 sushi grade ahi tuna steaks cut 1-½ to 2 inches thick, (about 3 pounds total)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
coarse sea salt
Salsa verde to accompany
- Remove the tuna from the refrigerator to come to room temperature. Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill.
- In a small bowl. Mix the rosemary, pepper, salt and sugar well. Pour the olive oil onto a plate. Turn the tuna steaks in the oil to coat, then place on another plate and coat well on both sides with the herb rub, patting it so it adheres.
- Place the steaks over the hottest part of the grill and cook, turning once, until the surface is seared but the interior is still uncooked, no more than 1 minute per side for rare. Remove the steaks to a platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Cut the tuna into ¼ inch thick slices and serve with salsa verde.
adapted from Mario Batali, Italian Grill
NOTE: If you want to push the Tuscan idea further, serve the tuna over Tuscan white beans with sage and olive oil.