WINE WITH…Tuna Confit (Oil-Poached Fresh Tuna)
The deliciously decadent tuna is rich and velvety after its bath in hot oil, while the accompanying fresh and colorful salad provides a wonderful textural contrast.
One one-pound tuna steak
Salt and pepper
2-3 cups olive oil, more if needed
4 or 5 strips of fresh orange peel
2 star anise pods
4-6 radishes, thinly sliced
2 blood oranges, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces
5-6 kumquats, sliced
About 2 cups arugula or frisée, torn in pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine or sherry vinegar
Lemon sections for garnish
Generously season the tuna with salt and pepper and cut it in half.
Place the fish halves in a large, sturdy saucepan, then pour in enough olive oil to just cover them. Add the strips of orange peel and star anise pods. Over medium heat, bring the oil to a full boil. Turn off the heat and let the tuna sit in the hot oil for 15 minutes if you like it slightly pink, or 20 minutes if you prefer it cooked completely through. Carefully remove the pieces of tuna. When they are cool enough to handle, cut them into thick slices.
Toss together the radishes, the pieces of blood orange, the sliced kumquats and the arugula. When you are ready to serve the dish, arrange the tuna slices over the salad. Whisk the olive oil and vinegar together, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle it over everything.
* * *
Tuna tastes rich and meaty, consequently calling for a substantial wine, while the fruity salad in this dish is light and lively, so better with a bright, refreshing one. What to do? Our tastings suggest that you try to thread the needle, with light-bodied reds and heartier whites. Fresh rosés will also be a good choice, especially this time of year.