Are you familiar with vitello tonnato? It is composed of cold, poached veal that is thinly sliced. Then it is layered with a sauce made of canned tuna, mayonnaise, anchovies and capers. It has to marinate for at least 24 hours, during which time the flavors of tuna and veal melt and produce something that is like no other dish of meat or fish in tenderness with a sweet and tangy taste.
This dish is very similiar, only that there is no veal. The tuna is marinated in a citrus vinaigrette and comes together in a snap! It almost melts in your mouth with a light and refreshing citrus flavor.
Marinated Poached Fresh Tuna with Caper and Anchovy Sauce
(from Marcella Hazan)
1 celery rib
1 medium carrot
½ medium onion
¼ cup wine vinegar
1 lb. fresh yellowfin tuna, cut about 1 inch thick
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
2 to 3 flat anchovy fillets, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped capers
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard
Freshly ground pepper
1. In a deep-sided skillet, combine the celery, carrot, onion, vinegar, a pinch of salt and 1 1/2 inches of water. Turn the heat to moderately high, cover and boil for 10 minutes.
2. Put in the tuna steak; when the water in the skillet returns to a boil, adjust the heat so that it simmers gently. Cover and cook the tuna until it is still pink in the center, 5 to 8 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the garlic, anchovies and capers with the lemon juice, olive oil and mustard. Season with salt and pepper and beat with a fork to combine.
4. Remove the tuna from the skillet and pat dry. Slice it 1/2 inch thick.
5. Choose a deep glass or ceramic dish that can contain the tuna in a single layer. Lightly spread some of the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Put in the tuna slices, laying them flat, and cover with the remaining sauce, spreading it evenly. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let the tuna stand at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours.