Basque Style Seared Tuna with Tomato Concasse
Seared tuna is a marvelous thing. If you like tuna that is and especially if you like it rare.
In my home, this is the stuff of dreams even with the kids.
The Basque aren’t big on spices and certainly not on using a ton of ingredients. In fact standard fare in a Basque kitchen will use onions, peppers and garlic as pretty much the basis of most foods and with the exception of a ton of good quality olive oil and the freshest ingredients and produce known to mankind and not much else.
The tuna in this recipe is dressed with a lovely fresh tomato topping that is especially wonderful in the summer when the ripest, sweetest and freshest tomatoes are in season. I love using Campari tomatoes because the skin is thin and I am guaranteed a delicious tomato with not a lot of seeds.
If you are using large tomatoes from your garden, skin and deseed. Concasse which is a French word that means to mince or grind, requires that the tomatoes in this dish are very finely chopped and combined with equally finely chopped Spanish red onions, fresh parsley and lemon juice. I love using a dash of jalapeno pickling juices for a little bit of oomph – but that’s your call.
Like I was saying, less is more with this one but using the finest quality ingredients that money can buy and you can afford are key!
Which brings us to the tuna – use the best Sushi grade tuna. You don’t need to use a lot – 2 nice sized cuts will happily serve a family of 4 as an appetizer.
Salt, pepper and sear in a heavy bottom pan with olive oil for 45 seconds to 1 minute on each side, serve with the tomato concasse and you have an appetizer to gush over!
As summer as it comes with this one! Enjoy!
Seared Tuna with Tomato Concasse
½ lb approx. (1 large boneless steak) Sushi Grade Tuna
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tbs olive oil
Campari tomatoes, sweet & ripe, to yield 1 cup very finely chopped (diced)
Spanish red onion, to yield 1/2 cup very finely chopped (diced)
fresh parsley leaves, to yield 2 tbs finely chopped
3 tbs olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
Juice of ¼- ½ lemon (depending on taste)
Jalapeno pickling juice, 2 tbs (optional)
Preparation: Must use a very sharp knife!
Tuna: In a one swoop, cut into 2 halves against the grain (perpendicular to the grain)
Onion: Peel, discard skin and finely chop (dice)
Tomatoes: Cut into ¼ inch slices then chop each slice to little cubes.
Parsley: Finely chop and set aside.
Tomato concasse: In a bowl combine all the concasse ingredients and combine. Taste and adjust seasonings and set aside until ready to use.
Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottom sauté pan, on medium-high heat until ripples form.
Very carefully lift the 2 tuna haves (with 2 hands) and place in the hot oil.
Set timer for 45 seconds for seared & rare tuna. (NO MORE THAN 1-1/2 MINS IF YOU LIKE YOURS OVER COOKED –NOT PREFERRED!)
Flip over and set the timer once again for allotted time.
Remove the tuna to a platter.
Using a VERY SHARP KNIFE, AGAINST THE GRAIN, slice the tuna at a slight SLANT.
Arrange in the order it was cut, at an angle.
Artfully arrange the tomato concasse (with a slotted spoon, to drain excess juices) on each side
of the tuna in a row.