Friday, December 18, 2009

On the 5th Day of Christmas, the Recipe Diva made for me...

Tuna Steaks with Olive Tapenade, White Bean Puree and Roasted Tomatoes

This is my kind of meal, very characteristic of the food that I really really enjoy cooking (and eating!!) - fresh ingredients, full flavors, and it incorporates two of my favorite things, seafood and garlic!

As promised, every meal in my '12 Days of Christmas' includes a new technique or new ingredient.  In this case I went a bit gourmet and decided to purchase some truffle oil.  If you've ever tried truffles or truffle oil, you know that these ingredients can really take a dish to the next level.  They add so much complexity and depth of flavor.  They are quite pricey so you certainly won't be sauteeing in truffle oil; instead, save these delicacies for uses in which they can really shine. 

As I was sooooooooo disappointed that no one appreciated my witty (so I tell myself) red, green, and white appetizers, I went for it again!  (Hold the applause) Red: roasted tomatoes, Green: olive tapenade and greens, White: white bean puree and seared sides of the tuna steaks... use your imagination ;)

The meal turned out great, so I attempted to put the recipe together below.  As I usually don't measure when cooking, I am struggling to document accurately... but I dont think you can really go wrong here with slight variations, just taste as you go!


4 Fresh Tuna Steaks, comparable in thickness
12 oz package of cherry tomatoes on the vine
5 tbsp Olive Oil, divided
5 oz package of baby arugula (rocket in Aussie)
Juice of 1/2 lemon, use remainder for tapenade

Olive Tapenade:
1/2 cup Manzanilla or Spanish green olives, pitted
2 tsp Capers
1/2 tsp Parsley, chopped
1 Garlic clove, minced
Olive Oil
Juice of 1/2 Lemon

White Bean Puree:
1/2 Oion, chopped
2 Garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
19 oz can Cannellini beans, drained
1 tbsp truffle oil, plus more for drizzling


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and take out tuna steaks so they can get a bit closer to room temperature.  Toss cherry tomatoes with 2 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 20 minutes or until tomatoes are about to burst.
2. For tapenade, chop or process olives and capers.  Combine with remaining ingredients and let sit for atleast 15 minutes. 
3. For white bean puree, sautee onions and garlic in olive oil over medium high heat until translucent.  Let cool, add to food processor with cannellini beans.  Process until smooth and add truffle oil at a steady stream while food processor is still running. 
4.  Season tuna steaks.  Add olive oil to hot pan over medium high heat.  Sear tuna for 1-2 minutes on each side depending on thickness.  (I prefer my tuna medium rare, but feel free to cook longer if you aren't comfortable with that).
5. Whisk together remaining tbsp of olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and quickly toss with arugula. 

Being that I was using a gourmet ingredient, I decided to play around a bit with plating.  I piled greens in the center of the plate, placed on the tuna and topped with the tapenade.  Spread each side of the plate white bean puree - get artistic if you can :)  Place roast tomatoes on plate.

Last and most important, eat every bite!!

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