F E S T I V A L  2003

february 28 - march 3, 2003
south beach recipes

Seared Tuna
with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette and Fennel Salad

From Think Like a Chef, by Tom Colicchio, Clarkson Potter Publishers 2000
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 4 servings

Roasted tomato vinaigrette:

  • 2 roasted tomato halves (see recipe below)
  • ¼ roasted tomato juice (see recipe below), warmed
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Fennel salad:

  • 1 small fennel bulb, cored and very thinly sliced
  • ½ cup mixed fresh herb leaves (such as tarragon, basil, chervil, dill, and parsley)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Seared tuna:

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ pounds tuna, cut into 4 1-inch thick steaks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 roasted tomato halves (see recipe below)

To prepare vinaigrette: Combine two roasted tomato halves, the tomato juice, vinegar, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and purée. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil and process until emulsified, then set aside.

To prepare fennel salad: Combine the fennel and herbs in a small bowl. Dress with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well.

To prepare the seared tuna: Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil. Season the tuna on both sides with salt and pepper and sear (about 2 minutes per side for rare). Transfer the tuna to a cutting board and slice thinly across the grain.

To plate: Arrange the remaining roasted tomato halves on plates. Place the tuna slices over the tomatoes, top with fennel salad and drizzle with tomato vinaigrette.

Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic

Yield: Makes 20 roasted tomato halves, approximately 10 roasted garlic cloves, and 1 to 2 cups roasted tomato juice

  • 10 ripe tomatoes, stems and cores removed
  • 1 large head of garlic, divided into unpeeled cloves
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Several sprigs of fresh thyme

To prepare the tomatoes and garlic: Heat the oven to 350ºF. Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise (through the equator), and place the tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix gently. Line one large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place the tomato halves on the baking sheet, cut-side down, and then pour any olive oil left in the bowl over them. Divide the garlic and thyme between the baking sheets and bake until the tomato skins loosen, about 20 minutes.

Remove and discard the tomato skins. Pour any juices that have accumulated into a bowl and reserve. Return the tomatoes to the oven and reduce the temperature to 275ºF. Continue roasting, periodically pouring off and reserving the juices, until the tomatoes are slightly shrunken and appear cooked and concentrated but not yet dry, 3 to 4 hours more.

Remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheets. Discard the thyme and transfer the tomatoes and garlic to separate containers. Store the tomatoes, garlic, and reserved tomato juices in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville, Napa Valley, CA