Sunday, November 20, 2005

Seared Tuna with Pomegranate Topping

With all those beautiful pomegranates appearing in our stores, it was impossible to resist making Ruth-Anne Adams' pomegranate almond topping. Oh sorry, let me back up. Ruth-Anne is the chef at Casablanca restaurant where I did my internship. Her beet salad with this crunchy, juicy, sweet, and sour topping is one of my favorite fall dishes. The pomegranate topping is so good, I can eat it all by itself, but it does make a great accompaniment to salads, poultry, pork, and lamb. As I found out last night, it even goes well on fish as long as it's dense and bold like tuna. Although tuna with pomegranates seemed like an unusual combination, the celery root that I served with them pulled it all together beautifully. Silky tuna with creamy celery root, punctuated with a little juicy crunch -- yum! It was one of those dishes where the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.

For tips on removing pomegranate seeds, see California Pomegranates site.

To make the topping, you'll need concentrated pomegranate juice (also known as pomegranate molasses). Although it's rarely available at regular supermarkets, you can buy it at most Middle Eastern grocery stores and over the internet. Russo's in Watertown, and Armenian stores in Watertown are some of the Metro Boston stores that carry it. It costs $2.50 - 3.00 (more if you buy it over the internet) and can be stored for up to 2 years even after opening.

Pomegranate Topping

1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
2 Tbsp capers, chopped
1 shallot, finely minced
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
1 Tbsp concentrated pomegranate juice
2 tsp honey
1 tsp olive oil

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. This topping can be made several hours before serving and stored covered in refrigerator.

Seared Tuna with Pomegranate Topping and Creamy Celery Root

Serves 4

1/2 + 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 tuna steaks (6 oz each)
Salt and Pepper
Creamy Celery Root
Pomegranate topping (see above)

  1. Set a large heavy skillet over high heat. When it's hot, add 1/2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil.
  2. Season tuna very generously with salt and pepper on both sides, and place in the skillet.
  3. Sear 1 minute per side for rare (2 1/2 minutes per side for medium -- I wouldn't recommend cooking it any more than that). Remove from heat and top with remaining 1/2 Tbsp butter.
  4. Divide celery root among 4 plates, top with tuna and pomegranate topping.


Anonymous said...

Looks enticing!

Anonymous said...

This looks awesome. I love rare tuna but I'm always worried about the safety of eating the leftovers. If kept covered in the fridge, how long is it safe to keep rare tuna leftovers?

Helen said...

Hi Julie,

If you have a seared and uncut tuna steak, you can keep leftovers for 1 day safely, wrapped in plastic and sandwiched between ice packs. If you already sliced it, keeping it is not a good idea.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much.


Anonymous said...

Hi Helen

This one looks to tasty! I can't wait to try it. I've got some tuna steaks waiting in the fridge for it but I was wondering if you could tell me how long tuna steak keeps raw in the fridge?

Many thanks,

Helen said...

Hi Rachel,

Tuna is no different than any other fish. Normal fridge conditions are too warm for fish. If you didn't put the fish between ice packs, you have to cook it the day you bought it or at most the day after. If you keep your fish between ice packs, you have at least 2 days. Potentially more. There is really no way to know unless you ask your fishmonger. Next time you are planning to keep fish for more than 1-2 days, ask the fishmonger how long it can stay in the fridge assuming you keep it between ice packs. Just don't forget to change your ice packs daily.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice, Helen :)

Lou said...

Dear Helen,

I ran across your blog and website just recently. I think it’s OWESOME. I have a lot of catching up to do …
Regarding this recipe… I’m a big fan of pomegranate but the idea of spitting out the seeds sometimes turning me off. I understand the topping is supposed to be with seeds. Is there any way to prepare it without seeds?

Helen said...

Hi Lena,

I don't normally spit out the seeds. They are crunchy and very edible. If you don't like them, just skip the topping or add some other finely minced fruit (maybe mango?)