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Seared Tuna with Sorrel Provencal Style

In the Pacific Northwest, where fresh seafood is abundant, I am generally frustrated with the fish selection in our grocery stores. However, on one shopping trip, I stumbled across a package of flash-frozen ahi tuna steaks. Remembering a Provencal preparation called ‘Thon à l’Oseille,’ or seared tuna with sorrel, I was inspired to make the recipe below.

Most people equate Provencal dishes with its more Italian feeling ingredients like tomatoes and basil. Authentic Provencal cuisine is simple, born in the countryside, and not fancy restaurants. It is a poor cuisine framed by the frugality of poverty. Nothing goes to waste.  It’s rustic and makes use of ingredients from both the Mediterranean and small family-run farms. Continue reading here.

Seared Tuna Sorrel Provencal style

Seared Tuna with Sorrel and Fennel

Chef François de Mélogue
A simple, flavourful tuna preparation made with the bounties of both the sea and small farms
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 4 people


  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 4 slender Carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion sliced
  • 2 small Fennel Bulbs or 1 large bulb sliced
  • 2 sprigs Thyme or summer savory
  • 1 clove Garlic peeled and sliced
  • 3 oz Sorrel or Baby Spinach or Swiss chard chopped
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock, water, white wine, or even rose wine
  • Sea Salt and Pepper
  • 1 lb Tuna cut into 4 pieces


  • Heat half of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Cook the carrots, onion, fennel, thyme, and garlic over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the sorrel to the skillet. Deglaze with chicken stock.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 to 15 minutes. The vegetables should be softer and tender and most of the liquid evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Season tuna with salt and pepper and drizzle a little olive oil over. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.
  • Cook the tuna quickly, about 3 minutes per side, until nicely browned on the top and bottom, but still cold and red in the center.
Keyword Fennel, Sorrel, Tuna
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

For more simple recipes, French Cooking for Beginners, 75+ Classic Recipes to Cook like a Parisian, invites you on a culinary journey through France. The book appeals to Francophiles and food lovers. Filled with humour and culinary tips that will snag an aspiring cook. Read our review of this cookbook here.


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Chef François de Mélogue

François de Mélogue grew up in a very French household in Chicago. His earliest attempts at cookery began with the filleting of his sister’s goldfish at age two and a braised rabbit dish made with his pet rabbits by age seven. He eventually stopped cooking his pets and went to the highly esteemed New England Culinary Institute, where he graduated top of his class in 1985.

Chef François has over 30 years of cross-cultural culinary experience and brings an impressive culinary history and a unique Mediterranean cooking style. After graduating top of his class from the notable New England Culinary Institute, Chef François began his career in a number of highly acclaimed kitchens across the country, including Chef Louis Szathmary’s restaurant The Bakery in Chicago, Old Drovers Inn, a Relais and Chateaux property in New York and Joel Robuchon Gastronomie restaurant in Paris, before opening award-winning restaurant Pili Pili in his hometown of Chicago, rated in the Top Ten new restaurants in the World by Food and Wine magazine in 2003.

Chef François resides in St Albans, Vermont with his wife Lisa and ten-year-old son Beaumont, who has proclaimed himself the family saucier. Chef François' latest publication French Cooking for Beginners: 75+ Classic Recipes to Cook Like a Parisian takes you on a culinary journey well beyond the streets of Paris. Francois is a professional photographer specializing in food/product photography, real estate photography and shooting rural landscapes of Vermont and France. Explore his work on

Take a look at his website Simple French Cooking filled with delicious recipes and beautiful photos. Also follow Francois on Medium for more tempting dishes Pistou and Pastis.

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