In celebration of the fact that the temperature was in the 60’s today and we’re still getting fresh tomatoes here(!), I decided to toss up a summery plate of Ventresca (sustainably line-caught yellowfin tuna bellies) with green garlic-tomato concassé, lemon-caper mayonnaise, balsamic glaze and a relish of roasted peppers, black olives and fresh herbs..
Ventresca with Green Garlic-Tomato Concassé and Lemon-Caper Mayonnaise
For the Concassé
1-2 bulbs green garlic, including tops, thinly sliced
1 large plum tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil, preferably from the Ventresca tin
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Very slowly soften green garlic in olive oil over low heat, then add tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper and continue to warm until softened. All to cool in mesh strainer, reserving the oil for the mayonnaise.
For the Mayonnaise
6-8 oz reserved olive oil
1 small pastured egg yolk
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon baby capers, mashed
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
saffron threads, soaked
Soak the saffron threads in 1 teaspoon of cold, filtered water for 15 minutes, then whisk together with the lemon juice, egg yolk and salt. Add the oil in a very thin stream, whisking continuously to form an emulsion. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
For the Relish
2 tablespoon roasted and pickled bell peppers, peeled, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon ripe black olives, pitted and slivered
1 teaspoon fresh chiffonade-cut basil
Toss all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Balsamic Glaze
1/2 cup aceto balsamico tradizionale
Using a double boiler to prevent scorching, reduce unadulterated balsamic vinegar until reduced in volume by about half. The resulting syrup will thicken as it stands.
To assemble, spoon tomato concassé onto a serving plate, then top with a layer of Vetresca and dress with mayonnaise. Add a second layer of concassé, tuna and mayonnaise and top with roasted pepper relish. Dab the plate with balsamic glaze and finish the dish with coarse sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.