Inspired by a Provençal tuna dish, albacore works just as well. This is an ideal dish for New Year’s, what with all the bringers of prosperity in the green leaves & fish. Saffron is optional, but brings a unique flavor. I personally enjoy serving the lettuce as a side dish, cut into thin strips, but this is also optional.
- 1 ½ pounds albacore steaks (the thicker, the better)
- 4 anchovy fillets (rinse, and slice into ¼ in portions) (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1 large onion, (cut in half, lengthwise, and thinly slice across grain)
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 114-ounce can tomatoes (chopped/diced)
- Pinch of saffron (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 heads soft green lettuce (green oak leaf or bibb suit) (separate leaves and wash)
- 1 large or 2 small lemons, (very thinly sliced)
- ¾ cup dry white wine
Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings):
320 calories; 44 grams protein; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 8 grams fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 12 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 5 grams sugars; 66 milligrams cholesterol; 1018 milligrams sodium
The information shown is only an estimate based on the available ingredients and specified preparation. This should not take the place of a professional nutritionist’s advice.
- Preheat oven to 400. using the tip of a paring knife, make small slits in the steaks and slide your anchovy pieces inside. Season with salt & pepper according to preference, and set aside. To determine the roasting time, measure the thickness of the tuna steaks.
- In a large heavy skillet or saucepan, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil on a medium heat – then add the onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender (approx. 5 minutes). Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, roughly 30-60 seconds, before adding the tomatoes, salt & pepper, and saffron if desired – stir. Bring to a simmer & cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes smell fragrant & have cooked down somewhat, approx. 10 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasoning if required.
- Over high heat, heat up a large heavy ovenproof casserole dish, and add the last tablespoon of olive oil. Season both sides of your steaks with salt & pepper, and sear each side for 30 seconds (ensure the pot is hot, or they will stick when they’re added). Move steaks to a plate. Add half the tomato sauce and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan in order to deglaze. Remove from heat.
- Take half your lettuce leaves and arrange over the tomato sauce. Place steaks on top of lettuce leaves in a single layer. Cover with lemon slices before spooning on the remaining tomato sauce. If you have more slices of lemon left, arrange over the tomato sauce before topping with the last of the lettuce leaves. Pour the wine into the pot.
- Cover securely and put in the oven. For 1 ½ in steaks, bake for 15 min, 2 in steaks for 20 min.
- To plate up, take off lettuce and place on a cutting board, slicing into thin strips. Move steaks to a warm platter, and remove lemon slices (they can be discarded). Over a high heat, bring the sauce to a simmer and reduce for roughly 5 minutes. Stir, and spoon onto the tuna. Finally, garnish with the lettuce or serve separately – it can also be discarded if preferred. The steaks can be sliced across the grain, and served hot!
- Prepare in advance: The tomato & onion sauce can be prepped several hours in advance.