“Fish again?” cried DJ Nevah L8 when I told him I was making tuna for dinner. Ahh, darling, don’t despair, you WILL love it! Besides, we haven’t had fish for days! La Diva has not been shopping yet and has managed to salvage a few items from the freezer, pantry and fridge….So, the challenge is on to work with what I’ve got! As you know, La Diva does not like waste and had an idea. I found some of those expensive little grape tomatoes in the fridge that were just starting to wrinkle…so as not to be wasteful, I slow roast them. Into the oven they go (with a bit of olive oil) for a couple of hours on a low heat (225F) until they get lightly shriveled and release their juices. Roasting the tomatoes gives them a nice flavor, taking out any bitterness and releasing sweet juices. It’s easy enough to do and you can continue doing other things as they roast.
I all but forgot about the mizuna in my farm share but there it was in the bottom of my fridge! Mizuna is a Japanese green with a peppery taste, kind of reminds me of arugula. So, mellow roasted tomatoes and peppery mizuna….hmm… That kind of flavor combo deserves to go with a hearty fish: tuna!
La Diva heated up her grill and seasoned the tuna steaks with extra virgin olive oil, garlic salt and a mix of Italian herbs, sea salt and pepper. I seared the steaks for three minutes and then took them off to “rest.” Meanwhile, I got some thin spaghetti bubbling and coarsely chopped the mizuna. I tossed it in the pan with the still-warm tomatoes, that I had on a low heat. (I ended up cooking the greens a little too long and next time will just add them chopped to the cooked pasta!)
Meanwhile, La Diva made a quick gremolata for a hit of flavor and bring the dish together. Not familiar with gremolata? It’s a classic Italian herb medley used to garnish Ossobucco and seafood and is a simple but flavorful combo of minced fresh parsley, garlic and lemon zest. La Diva used the dregs of Italian and curly parsley from her share, one garlic clove and a fair amount of lemon zest. Make sure you really mince all ingredients together, especially the garlic. The garlic is supposed to give a little “hit” of flavor, not enough for you to bite into with a bitter force!
So, how is La Diva going to put it all together? I put the pasta straight from the pot into a large pan, all steamy and hot and cooked al dente of course. I then added the roast tomatoes and greens and gently toss, adding a bit of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and some of the pasta water. I sprinkled a bit of the gremolata over the pasta and then slice the grilled and “rested” tuna and put over the top. I then garnish one last time with gremolata and a quick drizzle of beautiful, fruity-green extra virgin olive oil for a smashing finishing touch! The tomatoes impart a sweet and mellow juiciness while the greens give you a peppery hit! The garlic, lemon, parsley combo of gremolata add just the right amount of seasoning while the fish adds a “steak-like” heartiness! DELICIOSO, darlings!
As I tucked into my dinner, I looked across the table at DJ Nevah L8 and his plate was empty. La Diva had to laugh…I don’t even think he remembered he was eating fish!
- pint grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- kosher salt
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 2 x fresh tuna steaks
- 2 x tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon mix of Italian herbs
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bunch washed mizuna, arugula, dandelions with stems removed
- 1 clove garlic
- handful of washed parsley
- zest of one lemon
- salt and pepper
- Heat oven to 225 F
- Toss tomatoes in olive oil and season with kosher salt
- Put on tray in oven and slow roast until shriveled and cooked through, check every half an hour, should take about 2 hours in the oven
- Put large pot on stove to cook pasta
- Follow instructions to cook pasta al dente, salt the water.
- When cooked, strain, keeping a bit of the water, and set aside
- Heat up grill for tuna
- Season tuna with extra virgin olive oil, garlic salt, herbs and salt and pepper
- When grill his hot, add tuna steaks and sear for 3 minutes
- Remove from heat to rest
- Make gremolata
- Put all garlic and parsley into food processor, pulse until finely chopped and mixed.
- Add in lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste
- Assemble the pasta into a large pan and put over medium high heat
- Toss the tomatoes and chopped greens into the pasta
- Add ladelful of pasta water to make a sauce, serve in bowls
- Slice tuna and layer over each serving
- Garnish with gremolata
- Serve immediately.
Originally posted 2009-01-17 00:44:00.