Ahi Tuna Confit and New Potato Salad

Ahi_tuna_confit_and_new_potato_salad

The summer season is rolling in, yet I’m still waiting for my tomatoes and cucumbers to swell and colour. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying making super easy pickles with the tenderest radishes that I picked up from the farmer’s market (yes, I shamefully admit that I don’t really have success with them in my garden), and am thoroughly relishing plum season! Thanks to the heat, the plums have arrived much earlier than the last few years’ harvests. I’m planning to make another batch of plum liquor similar to my experiment from last year, using a slightly different method, and will definitely post the results when the time comes.

Today, I’d like to introduce an Ahi tuna confit that I learned to make 13 years ago (actually 20 years ago, if you include the version I encountered in a Nicoise salad in a fancy café in Tokyo that I subsequently tried to replicate with canned tuna!). However, it hadn’t occurred to me to create this dish again until recently, probably because the “dunk tuna in oil and cook” part somehow put me off in the kitchen. So I have come to use as little oil as possible by carefully swirling it in a small deep saucepan. Once you know how, it may be the simplest yet tastiest and nicest way to send an ode to the season’s new potatoes. Surprisingly, it is actually light enough that we could eat it as a late dinner after a long bike ride!

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Ahi Tuna Confit and New Potato Salad

Serves 2 hungry diners

Ahi tuna confit

½ pound fresh Ahi tuna, 1 inch thick slices
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 garlic cloves, crushed
A few sprigs fresh thyme
A few sprigs fresh sweet marjoram
A few strips organic lemon rind
1 teaspoon capers
A few coarsely cracked peppercorns
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 to 2 bay leaves

Place the tuna in the smallest container possible, so that the tuna just fits. Cover with the oil and add the rest of the flavourings. Marinate for 20 minutes.

Transfer the content of the container to a saucepan that is deep enough with a long handle so you feel comfortable swirling during cooking.

Bring the oil to 150F over medium heat and maintain the temperature. Swirl the oil very, VERY carefully as not to spill, and evenly cook the tuna until done, for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove from heat, let cool.

If you are not using the tuna right away, transfer to a glass container, cover and refrigerate. Make sure that the tuna is submerged completely in the oil.

New potato salad

I like mixing waxy potatoes with starchy ones, such as fingerlings and russets for this recipe to give it a different texture. I grow French fingerling, Yukon Gold and Russian Blue potatoes.

A medium bowlful of new potatoes
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup mixture of white wine vinegar and red wine vinegar, or rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons capers
A sprig of fresh thyme, leaves stripped
½ red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup pitted olives
Cherry tomatoes, wedged
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Place the well-washed potatoes in a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and cook until tender. Drain well.

In the meantime, combine the oil, vinegar, capers, thyme, onion and olives in a large mixing bowl.

Add the just-cooked potatoes and let cool in the marinade. Adjust with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Assemble the salad

Place the potato salad in an individual plate. Break off the confit and toss atop the potatoes along with the tomatoes. Pour the oil/vinegar mixture from the bottom of the mixing bowl over top. Serve immediately.

 

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July 19, 2013 by Emi Uchida
Categories: Fish, Garden, Main Course, Recipe, Salad, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , | 3 comments

Comments (3)

  1. Yum! I don’t cook with tuna nearly as often as I should. This looks fantastic. I’m loving the new potato salad. And I am a sucker for anything with capers. P.S. I had to pick up radishes too, I tried to grow them in my garden this year and had absolutely no luck!

  2. よく昔、ブログ関係でAhi Tunaを頂いてたんです。でも私レパートリーが少なくて、上手にお料理できませんでした。こういう風に作ったらとっても美味しかっただろうなぁ~。

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