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Seared Albacore Tuna with Fennel and Arugula

Ingredients
4- 6 oz. Albacore tuna steaks
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon ground fennel seed Salt and pepper to dust 2 fennel bulbs, sliced thin 4 cups fresh arugula 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme 1 pint organic cherry tomatoes Salt and pepper to taste ½ cup white wine

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the olive oil, sherry vinegar, fresh thyme, and Dijon mustard. Prior to serving the tuna, toss the arugula and tomatoes with ¾ of the vinaigrette and place on the center of each plate.
  2. Place a large sauté pan on the stove over medium high heat. Add the oil and wait until it is about to smoke. It will begin to shimmer. It is essential that the pan gets hot enough in order to create a nice caramelized exterior on the tuna. This is the flavor.
  3. While the pan is heating, place the tuna on a sheet pan, pat dry with a paper towel, and season on both sides with the ground fennel, salt, and fresh pepper. When the pan is hot, place two pieces of tuna in the pan, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. If it is a very large sauté pan add all four pieces, but be sure to leave sufficient space between the tuna steaks as this will allow the pan to retain heat. Sear the tuna on both sides for about 2 minutes.
  4. Once the tuna is seared on both sides, remove from the pan, place on a plate, and add the sliced fennel and sauté for about 4 minutes, or until slightly limp. Deglaze the pan by adding the white wine and reduce until it is almost dry.
  5. Place the tuna back in the pan and re-warm with the fennel. Serve by putting one tuna slice on each mound of dressed arugula. To finish, drizzle the tuna with the remaining vinaigrette and top each piece with the sautéed fennel.

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