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.
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.
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.
Chilled tuna cooked in olive oil, with pickles, onion, tomatoes and crackers. Could there be a better snack?
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds fresh tuna steak, about 1 inch thick
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- Enough olive oil to cover the tuna in your pan
Choose a pan that isn't much bigger than the tuna so you won't have to use too much olive oil.
Season the tuna generously on both sides with salt and pepper and place in the pan.
Add the garlic.
Pour in olive oil so that it just covers the tuna.
Heat the oil over medium-low heat until it gently bubbles.
Simmer the tuna for 10 minutes after it begins to bubble. Remove from the heat and check for doneness.
Remove the tuna if you want to keep it rare in the center. Otherwise, allow to cool in the oil.
Slice the rare tuna. Or cut the fully cooked tuna into chunks.
Enjoy as you would canned tuna in salads or with crudites and crackers.
Keep chilled drizzled with some of the cooking oil in a sealed container.
Make a dynamite Nicoise salad with chunks of your own tuna conserve. Beats canned any day!