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Recipe has been adapted from From The Earth To The Table - John's Wine Country Cuisine, by John Ash with Sid Goldstein,
published by Dutton Book, 1995. John Ash says, "This makes an elegant first course. The crust is especially intriguing because of the use of lavender."
More of Linda's great
Tuna Recipes and also
How To Select, Buy, and Cook Fish.
Seared Ahi Tuna with Lavender-Pepper Crust
Culinary Lavender Flowers
Yields: 8 servings
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 3 min
Mustard Seed Dressing (recipe follows)
1 1/2 pounds center-cut Ahi
tuna or 4 (4 to 6-ounce) 1-inch thick sushi quality
1 teaspoon coarse
2 teaspoons black
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons dried
culinary lavender flowers
3 tablespoons extra-virgin
4 cups savory mixed fresh greens and herbs
Prepare Mustard Seed Dressing; set aside.
If using the center-cut Ahi tuna, trim and cut
the tuna into a block approximately 2 inches across; then cut into 1-inch steaks.
Crush the salt, peppercorns, fennel seeds, and
lavender with a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin. Lightly oil the tuna with 2 teaspoons
of the olive oil; evenly coat the tuna with the lavender-pepper mixture, patting off any
In a heavy bottomed sauté pan or a
cast-iron pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Increase the heat to high and place the tuna in the
pan. Sear for 1 minutes, then turn over carefully, reducing the heat to medium. Sear the
other side for 1 more minutes until medium rare. Remove from heat and immediately
refrigerate the tuna for at least 1 hour but no more than 3 hours.
To serve, arrange the greens on chilled
individual serving plates. Drizzle with Mustard Seed Dressing. Thinly slice the tuna and
arrange on top of the dressed greens.
Makes 8 servings.
Recommended wine: Fume/Sauvignon Blanc offers
some balancing acidity to the peppery, mustardy flavors in the dish. A young, vibrantly
fruity Pinot Noir works beautifully as a red wine accompaniment.
MUSTARD SEED DRESSING:
4 tablespoons prepared whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons extra-virgin
2 teaspoons toasted mustard seed
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons vegetable stock or water
1 teaspoon honey (or to taste)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place mustard
seeds in a baking pan. Place in oven and roast for a couple of minutes (watch carefully so
the seeds don't burn). Remove from oven and let cool.
Whisk all the ingredients together and season to