Anastassios Mentis
Fennel/Pepper Crusted Yellowfin Tuna with Artichokes, Fennel & Citrus Olive Oil
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Fennel/Pepper Crusted Yellowfin Tuna with Artichokes, Fennel & Citrus Olive Oil

Manuel Perez, The Peacock Inn / June 2011

For 6 to 8 servings

Fennel/pepper rub:
• 1 Tbsp. white peppercorns
• 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds
• 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
• 1/4 tsp. coriander seeds
• 1 bay leaf

  1. Place all ingredients in spice grinder; grind; reserve.

Artichokes:
• 4 lg. artichokes, cleaned and soaked in acidulated water
• 1 cup white wine
• 1/4 onion
• 1 lemon, halved
• 1 carrot, halved
• 1/4 leek
• 1/4 fennel bulb
• 1/4 bulb garlic
• 1 rib celery
• 4 sprigs parsley
• 2 sprigs thyme
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
• 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
• 1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
• salt

  1. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a rondeau; reduce heat to medium; simmer until artichokes are softened and give no resistance when pierced with a knife; remove from heat; cool; remove artichokes from liquid with slotted spoon; remove leaves and choke; cut hearts into wedges; reserve hearts.

Fennel puree:
• 3 bulbs fennel
• 8 Tbsps. unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• salt
• black pepper, freshly ground

  1. Place fennel and butter in a pot; add water just to cover; bring to a boil; cook until water is completely absorbed; add cream; bring to a boil; reduce until pan is almost dry; remove from heat; place in a blender; blend until smooth; strain through fine chinois into clean pot; season; reserve (keep warm).

Citrus oil:
• 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into small dice
• 1/4 cup niçoise olives, pitted and minced
• 1 orange, zested
• 1 lemon, zested
• 1 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
• salt

  1. Place all ingredients except salt in a bowl; mix well; season; reserve.

Assembly:
• 3 Tbsps. grapeseed oil
• 6 to 8  6-oz. pieces sushi grade yellowfin tuna
• orange segments (for serving)
• fennel fronds (for serving)

  1. Heat 2 Tbsps. oil in sauté pan set over medium-high heat; add artichokes; cook until brown; remove from heat; reserve (keep warm).

  2. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a skillet set over high heat; add tuna; sear until brown and crusted; flip; sear on other side until browned and crusted and desired doneness is reached; remove from heat; reserve (keep warm).

  3. To serve, spread some fennel puree across each serving plate; cut each piece of tuna into 3 pieces; arrange tuna in center of plate; top with some artichokes; garnish with orange segments and fronds; drizzle citrus oil around.

What to drink: Bernard Morey Chassagne-Montrachet