Tuna with Porcini and Potato Truffle sauce

Tuna with Porcini and Potato Truffle sauce

This dish follows the style of a classic nicoise salad.  The classic salad inspired me to use what I had on hand, especially porcini mushrooms, one of my favorites.  I found some at the farmers market a few days ago.  They are great seared and roasted with a little salt and pepper.  These mushrooms  caramelize and tenderize to give them a wonderful meaty,  earthy flavor.

2 pc 5 oz tuna loin logs  

1 cup sesame seeds

6 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

Potato truffle sauce

1 large yukon potato peeled and large chopped

2 tbsp butter

2 cups water

2 oz petit basque cheese ( substitute gruyere, parmesan, or manchego )

2 tbsp (or more) black truffle oil

salt and pepper


3 medium yukon potatoes boiled, peeled, and sliced 1/4 inch thick

4 large porcini mushrooms,  quartered

2 tbsp butter

1 whole large onion sliced 1/2 inch thick

1 cup green beans blanched and quartered lengthwise

1/2 lemon juiced

1/4 cup capers drained

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Green Olive puree

12 oz castelvetrano olives pitted

3 garlic cloves

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven 400 degrees

For the green olive puree (tapenade) place olives and garlic into a food processor.  Puree and add the oil during the process.  No need to season because of the saltiness of the olives.

For the potato truffle sauce. This is one I learned to make when working with Daniel Patterson in San Francisco.   It is delicious and easy to make.  Add potato,water, butter and a pinch of salt to a small sauce pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are done.  Pour ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  The potatoes thicken the sauce.  If the sauce seems too thick add a little water.  While the blender is still going add cheese and pepper.  Taste the sauce and finish with truffle oil and additional salt if needed.  Set aside.  This sauce is a superb addition to many dishes,   especially meats.

For the veggies.

For the onion, slice 1/2 inch thick and try to loosen the each individual layer of the onion, as if you were making onion rings.  In a roasting pan drizzle onions with 2 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper and roast for 15 to 18 minutes, shaking the pan every 5 minutes so the onions don't stick.

For the mushrooms, quarter them lengthwise and place in a saute pan on medium high heat with 2 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp  of butter.  Saute for 3 minutes and then place in the oven for 10 minutes.  When you pull the mushrooms out of the oven add the last tbsp of butter and season with salt and pepper.

For green beans, blanch them in salted water and drain.  Cut the green beans in thin strips by cutting in half and then cutting in half again length wise.  Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1/2 lemon juice to the green beans and season with salt and pepper.

For the yukon potatoes, boil until they are just done.  Peel and slice 1/4 inch thick.  Season with salt and pepper

For the tuna, add half the olive on top of the tuna and season with salt and pepper.  Place the sesame seeds in a bowl and lightly coat the tuna with sesame seeds by using one hand to roll the tuna in the seeds.  Place the remaining oil in a hot saute pan and add the tuna.  Sear the tuna on all 4 sides for roughly a minute each.  Be careful in searing the tuna.  The sesame seeds that fall off the tuna occasionally pop out of the pan and can burn you.   Once all four sides of the tuna have been seared,  take it out and let it rest on a cutting board.  Slice the tuna into even slices using a sharp knife.

To serve,  add 2 spoonfuls of the potato truffle sauce on a plate.  Place a line of the green olive puree next to it.  Place 3 slices of the potatoes on the truffle sauce.  Place one large onion ring on top of the potato.  Place a few green bean slices on top.  Place a big porcini slice on each potato and onion ring.  Sprinkle the plate with capers and top with the tuna slices.  This tuna salad does require a lot of effort, but the delicious entree is worth it!  

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