Some of the best tuna in the world is available in local markets these days, and I encourage you to purchase fresh giant bluefin tuna, eschewing the cheap hot-pink junk that is gassed to retain it’s fresh color. This recipe is a food lover's dream, and it requires some extra steps and some assembly at the end, but if cooking is your passion, you’ll want to try this dish that is sure to impress your guests at your next dinner party. The crisp potato and the earthy and acidic tapenade are perfect foils for the fish.
Grilled Tuna on Potato Crisps with Black Olive Tapenade
3 lb. center-cut giant bluefin tuna, trimmed and cut into 6 cubed portions,
sinew and skin discarded . . . ask your fishmonger to do this for you,
if you like.
2 T. herbes de Provence
2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
1 T. canola oil
Season the tuna with the olive oil, herbs, salt, and pepper. Brush the canola oil on your grill surface. Grill the tuna on all 6 sides for about 45 seconds to 1 minute on each side over high, direct heat. Do not overcook. Let rest for 2 minutes, slice in half at an angle, perch the tuna on top of the potato crisps on the plates, and garnish with dollops of the tapenade. Serves 6.
The Potato Crisps
Peel and slice 2 lb. of Idaho baking potatoes into the thinnest discs possible on a vegetable slicer. Rinse in cool water to prevent oxidizing and place a large no-stick pan over high heat. Drain and dry potato slices and add some clarified butter to the pan. Arrange slices in small, 4-inch circles, overlapping the slices and working outward from the middle of the circle. You should be able to do a few at a time if you use a large pancake griddle or flat-top pan. When bottoms of the crisps are browned and crispy, flip them over and brown the other side. Keep warm as you cook the rest. Season and place on the plates for serving.
6 oz. pitted kalamata olives
3 steamed and cooled new potatoes, sliced
1 T. lemon juice
6 basil leaves
1 T. fresh tarragon leaves
1 garlic clove
1/2 c. oven-dried tomatoes . . . Use 12 roma tomatoes, halved, then
brushed with oil, pepper, and salt. Place cut-side up on a cookie tray
and roast for about 8 hours at 225 until crinkly, leathery, and "dried."
1/3 cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree. Season and reserve for garnishing the tuna.