Inspiration for this dinner? Two dishes that are bound to be on heavy rotation this summer. So straightforward and unfussy, yet both so luxurious in texture and flavor. A tuna steak slowly poached in olive oil is scattered around a plate with potatoes and green beans like a sort of deconstructed, lazy Nicoise, and a cheery pink homemade sherbet rounds out the meal. A weeknight dinner worthy of a Saturday night dinner party!
3/4 pounds best quality tuna, about 2 inches thick
5 thyme sprigs
1 garlic clove
About 1/3 cup olive oil
12 baby potatoes, boiled with skins on, until tender
7 ounces thin green beans, topped and blanched in salted water
8 ounces cranberry beans, shelled (about 3/4 cup shelled) and blanched in salted water until just tender or dried cranberry beans (see note in Step 4)
4 teaspoons sherry vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Place the tuna in a saucepan, just large enough to hold it (see the slideshow). Wedge the thyme and garlic around the sides. Pour in the olive oil, and life the tuna so some oil spreads beneath it. You want the tuna to be 1/2 to 2/3 covered. Season with salt.
2. Set the pan over medium low heat (if your stove is BTU-rific, you may need to keep it at low). Gently poach the tuna, spooning warm oil over the top as it goes and turning the tuna once. You want to cook it until it's still pink inside but cooked through. Remove to a cutting board. Save the delicious oil.
3. Slice the potatoes, and halve the green beans (if they're large; keep them whole if small). Divide the potatoes, green beans and cranberry beans among 4 plates. Use your fingers to pull the tuna into bite-size pieces and arrange atop the vegetables. Spoon the reserved poaching oil over the salad. Sprinkle a teaspoon of vinegar over each salad. Season with salt and coarsely ground black pepper.
Note: If using dried cranberry beans, soak the beans over night. Drain. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil and cook until just tender, 60 to 90 minutes.
3/4 lbs of good quality tuna steak, about 2 in. thick
5 thyme sprigs
12 baby potatoes
7 ounces green beans
8 ounces cranberry beans, shelled and blanched in salted water (or similar bean that you like)
1 pint fresh strawberries
We assume you have olive oil, sherry vinegar, milk, sugar, garlic, salt, and lemons. If not, you'll need them, too!
1. Pop the strawberries in the freezer (they need about 1 hour). Put the bowl and the blade of your food processor in the fridge to chill, too.
2. Nestle the tuna into a pan with the oil, thyme and garlic and let it poach. While the tuna cooks, boil and slice your potatoes and blanch the green beans.
3. When the tuna is done, assemble the salad in a way that pleases you.
4. Eat dinner!
5. Still a little peckish? Feeling in need of a refreshment? Remember those strawberries in the freezer? Pull 'em out!
6. Pulse them up with milk and sugar. Ta da, like frosty magic -- sherbet!
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