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Big Fish

Michael Smith’s recipe celebrates tuna as
the filet mignon of the sea


Grill tuna steak with white bean arugula salad and
anchovy dressing

From Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen:
100 of My Favourite Easy Recipes (Penguin Canada)

Grilling tuna is one of my favourite ways to enjoy this filet mignon of the sea. Tuna’s rich fattiness and luxurious texture allow it to grill as easily as any meat, and it’s at its best when its centre stays cool. Tuna’s big grill flavours work well with other strong flavours, like briny anchovy dressing over a rich white bean salad tossed with sharp, peppery arugula. Serves 4.

1 cup (250 mL) of dried white beans, soaked overnight in 2 cups (500 mL) of water, or 1 can (14 ounces/398 mL) of white beans, rinsed and drained
8 oil-packed anchovies, drained and patted dry
The zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons (30 mL) of olive oil
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of grainy mustard
2 handfuls of arugula leaves (about 4 ounces/125 g)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
A sprinkle or two of salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
4 fresh tuna steaks (each 8 ounces/250 g and at least 1 inch/2.5 cm thick), patted dry
1/4 cup (60 mL) of olive oil

If you’re using dried beans, simmer them until tender, about an hour and possibly longer. Drain and set aside while you ready the salad. In a salad bowl, mash the anchovies into a thick paste with a fork. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, and mustard, then continue mashing until you form a smooth dressing. Season to your taste with salt and pepper. Add the beans and toss until they’re thoroughly coated with the dressing. Top with the arugula and green onions but—for maximum crispiness—wait until just before serving to toss them with the marinating beans.

Prepare and preheat your grill to its highest setting.

Rub the tuna steaks with the olive oil. Lightly season the fish to your taste with salt and pepper. Grill, turning once, until the fish is cooked to your liking, 3 to 5 minutes per side for rare, 5 to 7 minutes for medium. Finish tossing the salad, then portion onto 4 plates and top with a slab of grilled tuna. Serve and share!



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