The Fleet is in Albacore Tuna

The Fleet is in Albacore Tuna

At the end of summer I always get a chill that is not induced by the cold weather. The chill comes from raw excitement for all the amazing local seafood starting to come around the markets. One of the most under appreciated catches is the amazing albacore tuna off the Oregon coast. Albacore is wild caught and, in my opinion, has more flavor then his Ahi Tuna cousin. Albacore tuna also has great fat content and a wonderful firm texture.  This month I am sharing my olive oil poached albacore Niçoise (nēˈswä) salad. This dish is a classic in the South of France with tuna, eggs, olives, potatoes and green beans, c’est delicieux.

Oil Poached Tuna Niçoise Salad
(Serves 3-4)
1 # Albacore Tuna, cut into filets (recipe follows)
1/2 pound baby potatoes, steamed and chilled
1/2 pound green beans, steamed and chilled
14 each baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
2 cups tarragon vinaigrette (recipe follows)
4 eggs, hard boiled, quartered
1 cup picholine olives, pitted
1/4 cup micro greens or chopped herbs

1) Place cooked tuna on a large tray leaving room for accompaniments.
2) Quarter baby potatoes, toss in tarragon vinaigrette and place along side of tuna.
3) Toss the green beans in the tarragon vinaigrette and place along side of tuna.
4) Toss tomatoes in the tarragon vinaigrette and place along side of tuna.
5) Place hard boiled eggs and olives around the tuna.
6) Drizzle tuna with the remaining tarragon vinaigrette and sprinkle micro greens on top of the tuna to finish.

Olive Oil Poached Tuna
1 # tuna, cut into filets
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 shallot, sliced
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 TB whole peppercorns
pinch sea salt
2 cups olive oil

1) Place tuna filets in casserole dish or high-sided cookie sheet.
2) Heat large saucepan to medium heat.
3) Add the garlic, shallot, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt.
4) Cook for 2 minutes or until garlic and shallot softens slightly.
5) Add olive oil.
6) Bring to a boil. Pour mixture over tuna then loosen from the bottom and place immediately in refrigerator.
7) Cool down then remove tuna to serve.
Chefs Tip: make sure pieces of tuna are thick so they cook on the outside but are still medium rare in the middle!

Tarragon Vinaigrette
(makes 2 cups)
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1 bunch tarragon, stemmed and chopped slightly
1 1/2 cups canola oil
salt to taste
1) Place the sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, shallot and tarragon in a blender.
2) Blend on high for 1 minute.
3) Drizzle in oil 1 tablespoon at a time while blender is running.
4) Season with salt and enjoy!