Fresh Tuna Cooked in Olive Oil

by R.B. Quinn and Min Merrell
how to make tuna conserve

Tuna cooked in olive oil is ideal for Nicoise salad or any salad that could use a few chunks of delicious tuna.  

Why bother cooking tuna in olive oil when you can just open a can?  Canned tuna is great, however, your own tuna steak cooked in olive oil is a rich treat that offers lots of possibilities from accenting salads to fancy snacks.  Let’s face it,  it’s not just a can of tuna. Is it worth using more than a cup of your olive oil?  Well, not expensive olive oil. Use your regular house brand for everyday sauteeing. And be sure to simmer the tuna a pan that just fits the fish in so that you don’t have to use too much oil.  

Just salt and pepper the tuna, place it in the pan with garlic cloves and olive oil. Simmer gently until it’s as done as you like. Well done (solid opaque throughout like canned) is good for keeping in the fridge for a few days to add chunks to your salads, make a sandwich or snack on. It’s wonderful for serving to company.

Don’t think it’s too “good” for a classic tuna sandwich. Make a tuna salad sandwich with or without mayo (the olive oil will bind it somewhat), add lots of greens, hard cooked egg, celery and something acidic like olives, pickles, lemon juice, or capers. Outrageously good on crusty bread or crackers.

Tuna Conserve Pre Boil

 It’s important to use a pan that’s not too big, just wide enough to fit the tuna.  If you do, you’ll be using and wasting a lot of olive oil.  


Tuna Conserve Side View

Take the tuna out of the oil when it’s a little rare, if you like.  Leave it in the oil to gently cook until opaque all the way though for tuna that’s more like canned.  It will flak easily with a fork.


how to cook tuna in oil

 Chilled tuna cooked in olive oil, with pickles, onion, tomatoes and crackers.  Could there be a better snack?

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