Marinated Tuna with Fruit
Chef Xavier Pellicer's appetizer is a fresh taste of the sea. Seared ahi tuna is marinated in herbed vinaigrette and mounded with mango, calamari "spaghetti," and gleaming sea trout roe. It is presented simply, with a touch of vinaigrette and broccoli puree. The seared tuna blocks are sliced, then shaped back into blocks; the slicing makes them easier to eat.
- Herbed Olive Oil
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 2 cups
- Parsley Sprigs - 3
- Dried cayenne pepper - 1/2, seeded and chopped
- Thyme Sprigs - 1
- Rosemary Sprigs - 1
- Herbed Vinaigrette
- Olive Oil - 3/4 cup
- Lemon Juice - 1/4 cup
- Herbed olive oil (above) - 1/2 cup
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Marinated Tuna
- Sushi-grade ahi tuna - four, 6-ounce blocks
- Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Broccoli - 1 bunch, blanched
- Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
- Green Beans - 4, whole, blanched
- Mango - 1
- Parsley Leaves - 2, minced
- Thyme Sprigs - 1, stemmed
- Rosemary Sprigs - 1, stemmed and minced
- Calamari - 2, bodies only, cleaned
- Chives - 4, minced
- Sea trout roe - 1/4 cup
- Chives - 4
To prepare the herbed oil: Put the ingredients in a saucepan and heat until the oil shimmers over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand overnight. Strain through a sieve. Store the oil in a sealed container.
To make the herbed vinaigrette: Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, and herbed oil in a bowl and whisk until blended. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Put the vinaigrette in a squeeze bottle.
To prepare the tuna: Roll each tuna block in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a medium saute pan or skillet over high heat and sear the tuna on all four sides until well browned, about 30 seconds per side. Add more oil as necessary to keep the tuna from sticking. The tuna blocks may be seared one at a time if necessary. The tuna will be cooked about 1/4-inch deep all the way around; the ends will be raw. Remove and drain on paper towels. With a very sharp knife, cut each tuna block into 1/4-inch slices, shaping the slices back into a block when finished. Set each sliced tuna block on its own plate.
Drizzle herbed vinaigrette over the tuna blocks, letting the oil pool around the blocks. Set aside. Reserve the remaining vinaigrette.
To prepare the garnishes: Roughly chop the broccoli and put in the bowl of a food processor. With the machine running, drizzle in two tablespoons of the olive oil, then add just more enough oil to obtain a smooth texture. The broccoli puree should just hold its shape. Set aside.
Trim the ends from the green beans and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices. Set aside.
Peel and pit the mango. Cut the flesh into narrow julienne. Mound one fourth of the julienne on each tuna block. Mix the herbs together and sprinkle over the mango.
Slit the calamari bodies and open out flat. Cut narrow julienne from the side of the calamari, making calamari "spaghetti." Mound the raw calamari on the tuna blocks and mango. Drizzle again with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with minced chives, then with the green beans.
To serve: Using a spatula, slip one entire dressed block of tuna onto one side of a serving plate, holding the block together with your fingers. Reshape the block after it is in place. Repeat with the other blocks of tuna. Put a mound of broccoli puree on the opposite side of each plate. Spoon sea trout roe on top of each tuna block. Draw a stripe of herbed vinaigrette across each plate between the tuna and the broccoli puree. Lay a whole chive over each mound of broccoli puree.