Turbot and Tuna with Croustades of Black Olives and Smoked Tomato-Butter Sauce
The rich tuna, delicate turbot, salty olives, and smoky sauce make this dish a panoply of flavors and textures that excite the eye as well as the palate. The brioche boxes, the sauce, and the saute of onions and olives can be made a few hours in advance.
- Tuna - 1 lb, Fresh
- Fresh Herbs - 1/4 cup, mixed (some combination of thyme, parsley, and oregano)
- Garlic - 2 teaspoons, minced
- Black Pepper - 1/2 teaspoon, crushed
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Turbot - 1 1/2 lb, fresh (alt. halibut)
- Italian Parsley - 4, leaves
- Tomatoes - 4 large, ripe
- Shallots - 1/2 cup, chopped
- Unsalted Butter - 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks)
- Fume Blanc - 2 cups (alt. other dry white wine)
- Fish stock - 2 cups
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/4 cup
- Thyme - 2 sprigs (alt. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
- Salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne to taste
- Olive Croustades
- Brioches - 4 rectangular (alt. egg bread rolls), 4-by-2-by-2 inches
- Pearl Onions - 2
- Bacon - 1/4 pound slices, cut into short strips (lardons)
- Olives - 1/4 cup, oil-cured
- Nicoise olives - 1/4 cup
- Calamata olives - 1/4 cup
- Butter - 4 tablespoons, melted
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Kale - 8, flowering, purple leaves
- Thyme - 1 tablespoon, minced fresh leaves
Cut the tuna into four equal squares. Mix the herbs with the garlic, pepper, and olive oil and rub over all sides of the tuna. Put in a dish under plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator.
Divide the turbot into four portions and press a leaf of Italian parsley onto each. Put in a dish under plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To make the sauce: In a smoker or covered charcoal grill, smoke the tomatoes over low heat for about 20 minutes. Seed and chop them and set aside.
Saute 1/4 cup of the shallots in a few tablespoons of butter until soft. Deglaze with the wine and reduce the liquid to 1-1/2 cups over high heat. Add the fish stock and reduce again to 1 cup.
In another pan, saute the remaining shallots in 2 tablespoons of the butter and cook until soft. Add the chopped smoked tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the wine reduction, the heavy cream, and thyme and reduce to 1 cup. Swirl in the remaining butter, bit by bit, and season to taste with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Set aside and keep warm or pour into an insulated bottle if it is not to be served immediately.
To make the garnish: Cut the four brioches into boxes, scooping out the centers. Peel the pearl onions by blanching them in boiling water for 5 minutes, then draining and slipping off the skins. Set aside. Blanch the bacon in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain, and rinse in cold water. Pit all the olives.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush the surfaces of the croustades with butter and bake until browned. Saute the bacon in a saute pan until crisp, remove with a slotted spoon, and brown the onions in the bacon fat. Add the olives to warm, return the bacon to the pan, and set aside.
Sear the tuna on all sides in a saute pan or skillet, keeping the center rare. Sprinkle the turbot with salt and pepper and steam in a bamboo steamer for 3 to 5 minutes. Heat the butter in a wok or saute pan and stir-fry the purple kale on medium-high heat until just limp.
To serve: Fill each brioche box with one-fourth of the olive mixture and place one next to a few kale leaves on each plate. Slice the tuna pieces in half horizontally and place on the plates, offsetting the top pieces to expose the raw center. Place a portion of turbot next to the tuna. Spoon the sauce around the fish and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves.