Oil-poached tuna is a revelation and this one rivals any high-quality imported oil-packed tuna from Italy, Spain, or Portugal. The fish absorbs all of the flavor of the herbs and garlic in the olive oil and stays incredibly moist and tender.
- 1 lemon
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 (3-inch) rosemary sprig
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 portion albacore tuna (8 to 10 ounces) cut into 1-inch thick slices
- Extra virgin olive oil for poaching
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 (15–ounce) can cannellini or butter beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 celery stalks with leaves, sliced
- 1 ripe tomato, chopped
- Grilled bread for serving
POACH THE TUNA
Use a vegetable peeler to remove strips of lemon zest and add to a medium saucepan. Add the garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes, tuna, and enough oil just to cover. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat and cook until the tuna is opaque and firm, 10 to 15 minutes.
MAKE THE SALAD AND SERVE
Transfer the tuna to a plate and break into large flakes. Strain the oil and reserve ¼ cup for the dressing.
Into a large bowl, squeeze 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Whisk in the reserved olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the tuna, white beans, celery, and tomato, and gently toss to coat.
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Pair it Up
A sunny southern Italian white wine has enough body (and freshness) to compliment this oil-poached fish. Look for greco di tufo, fiano, or falanghina from the Campania region.
Level it Up
Use thinly sliced fresh fennel in place of the celery for a fresh anise flavor.
Change it Up
Spoon any leftover salad onto a crusty baguette or ciabatta roll and drizzle with plenty of olive oil for a fresh and satisfying sandwich.
Lighten it Up
Filled with heart-healthy fats, antioxidants, and lean proteins—tuna, olive oil, celery, and white beans—this dish is a complete meal. But for added benefits, add some blanched green beans.
Know Your Cook
Culinary Director Grace Parisi is a cook, writer and cookbook author. Formerly the Senior Test Kitchen Editor at Food & Wine Magazine and Executive Food Director at TimeInc Books, her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Health, O Magazine, Epicurious, Fitness, Today, Serious Eats, Martha Stewart, and many more. She’s the author of more than 6 books, among them The Portlandia Cookbook and Get Saucy, which was nominated for a James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook.
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