Slow-roasted Tuna and Fennel Salad
One of our favourite dishes from the Mediterranean is a salad of octopus, potatoes, celery, and olives, flavoured with extra virgin olive oil and lemon. We made it when we were in Venice years ago.
My “chore” today for Provence WineZine, was to pair a summer salad with a rosé from Commanderie de la Bargemone. So, I made some major changes to the recipe and came up with a completely new variation. Instead of octopus, I substituted a slow-roasted tuna steak that was seasoned well with salt, pepper, and fennel pollen. Rather than celery, I roasted some wedges of fennel bulb. The fennel and tuna worked perfectly with the olives, potatoes, and lemon.
Tuna, Fennel, and Potato Salad
- 1 large Fennel Bulb
- 2 Yukon Gold Potatoes
- 4 8-oz Tuna Fillets
- 12 Kalamata Olives pitted
- 1 Lemon
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp Fennel Pollen *
- Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Clean and trim the fennel bulb, slice in half, then slice each half into 3/4-inch wedges, keeping the root end intact. Place wedges on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, turning once halfway through. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
- While fennel is roasting, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the unpeeled potatoes and cook until tender and easily pierced with a knife — about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Reduce oven to 200°F (95°C). Rub some olive oil over the tuna steak and season with fennel pollen, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes; tuna should be slightly pink in the center. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
- When everything has cooled to room temperature, peel the potatoes, and cut into 3/4-inch chunks. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and add the fennel wedges and olives. Drizzle liberally with your best-quality olive oil. Finely zest the lemon and add the zest to the bowl. Squeeze the juice from half the lemon on top of the vegetables. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and gently toss the vegetables; taste for seasoning. Adjust oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper as needed. Cut the tuna fillet into 1-inch cubes and add to the other ingredients. Once again, toss gently to mix the ingredients together.
- Serve immediately sprinkled with parsley, or chill for later and let it come to room temperature for serving to bring out the flavours.