Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tuna & Meyer Lemon Confit, White Bean Puree

Inspiration is a Chain Reaction

picture photograph image ALT 2008 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/

Yesterday's post about meyer lemon recipes prompted several readers to leave me even more good suggestions in the comments section. One of them, from Allen at Eating Out Loud proved irresistible. He said "[I] enjoy it more in savory dishes. I like cooked/flaked tuna tossed with chopped kalamata olives, red onion, a bit of celery, meyer lemon zest, fresh black pepper, and a good dose of extra virgin olive oil." His suggestion led to remind me of a wonderful thing I'd eaten just over a week ago at The Restaurant Whore's Birthday party, held at The Slow Club and cooked by my new food crush Serpentine Chef Chris Kronner. Amongst other delicious appetizers, such as perfectly cooked slabs of juicy steak, the freshest of Caesar salads, charcuterie, olives and irresistible flat breads straight from the oven (I've never seen Fred return to a buffet so many times), were the morsels that interested me the most: Plates of grilled toast topped with white bean puree and tuna confit.

I took a leaf out of both their books then added my own leaf and made a delicious (albeit rather late) lunch. First up was Meyer lemon confit from a suggestion in the LA Times - three thinly sliced Meyer lemons in a small pan, covered in olive oil and left over a low, low heat for an hour. I removed the lemon slices to cool and added a tuna steak to the lemony oil. I left it at the same, low temperature for about half an hour (turning once, at half time), until the fish was barely cooked all the way through. I removed it from the pan and left it to cool too. In the meantime I had soaked half a pound of Rancho Gordo's Giant White Lima beans in cold water for an hour. I added them to a large pan with plenty of water, a few sage leaves and a whole head of garlic, sliced straight through the center. I brought them to the boil and then let them bubble for 45 minutes until they were soft. I drained, them, reserving the cooking liquid, and scooping out the softened garlic cloves from their skin. I discarded the outside of the garlic and the sage leaves, leaving the beans and garlic to cool before pureeing them together in the blender with plenty of salt, pepper and enough of the reserved cooking liquid to smooth the puree.

My open sandwich was quick to assemble. Some flat-leaved parsley, a few slices of the oily lemon confit, pitted Nicoise olives and a large shallot, all roughly chopped and haphazardly mixed together with flaked pieces of the tuna, a few small capers, a crack of black pepper and some Maldon salt. I brushed both sides of a thick slice of Acme Levain with some of the leftover lemony oil I had used to poach the tuna and threw it on the panini maker for a grilling. Once that was ready, I simply spread it with the bean puree and then topped it with the confit.

Just perfect. Fresh, bright, glorious. It almost made me feel better. Time for another hot toddy?




© 2008 Sam Breach
Tuna & Meyer Lemon Confit, White Bean Puree

17 Comments:

  • At 29/1/08 00:31, Blogger Beccy said…

    Looks yummy Sam.

     
  • At 29/1/08 02:14, Blogger ChrisB said…

    I second what beccy said and wish we could have joined you for a late lunch!

     
  • At 29/1/08 03:05, Blogger *fanny* said…

    this sounds like a lovely lunch
    xxx

     
  • At 29/1/08 07:59, Blogger aforkfulofspaghetti said…

    That looks very tasty! Unfortunately, it's also deeply unseasonal food for us UK dwellers, but I'll be giving this a try come the warmer weather...

     
  • At 29/1/08 08:15, Blogger Sam said…

    Unless the Uk has
    suddenly taken growth of meyer lemon trees which wouldnt actually surprise me because of global warming I am not sure this dish would ever be seasonal in the Uk. Here in CA citrus is our winter fruit. This is not a local dish either because it makes use of cured items like capers and olives, the former of which do not grow locally. However shallots and or onion can be found in Britain in the winter because they store well. And so can parsley which my British mother grows in her garden. I am lucky because I can also get local olive oil and the most wonderful beans from a local farmer although not all his produce is local.

     
  • At 29/1/08 09:20, Blogger Lady Amalthea said…

    I am so jealous of all this local Californian produce! Anyway, this looks wonderful--the perfect thing to chase away the midwinter blues.

     
  • At 29/1/08 09:34, Blogger Heather said…

    I am also officially player-hating on Californians. The last of my mustard greens and chard died in the ice last weekend, and I have none of your gorgeous farm-fresh produce. :(

    But your dish looks wonderful, Sam! Tres provencale and whatnot.

     
  • At 29/1/08 11:43, Blogger Sam said…

    Enidd: cut it open and swoon from the heady aroma, the likes of which, as a Brit, you have never encountered before?

    it's sweeter and more of an orangey lemon.

     
  • At 29/1/08 11:58, Anonymous White On Rice Couple said…

    Thank you for all of your great meyer lemon recipes! Our meyer lemon tree is bursting with fruit this year and we need to slowly harvest from it. Your offerings sound delicious are so much appreciated. Thank you!

     
  • At 29/1/08 13:38, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    It is viral. Cranky and I made a bean puree to spread on little crostini... but we didn't decorate it as nicely as yours.

     
  • At 29/1/08 18:21, Blogger Allen of EOL said…

    ... it loooks absolutely amazing (as always). I'm sitting here waiting for veggies to roast in the oven and my stomach is doing backflips looking at your Tuna & Meyer Lemon Confit.

    If anyone is in the San Jose area and would like to try meyer lemons, give me a ping. Our tree is somewhat jointly shared with our neighbors and neither of us have done anything with the lemons this year. Normally, they pick the entire tree and make meyer lemon limoncello.

    For all of you non-Californians, I apologize -- you've guilted me into picking a basketfull tomorrow.

    Thanks for the shout-out, Sam!

     
  • At 29/1/08 19:14, Blogger Sam said…

    i took some leftovers for my lunch (without the toast part) and it went down very nicely thank you very much - so full of flavour. Thank you for everyone's kind words.

    PS Enidd I forgot to add - SF may not be warm enough for meyer lemon growth - usually people who have trees seem to be in marin or berkeley or the peninsula. Del has lemons too and since she is only a block from her, yours might be like hers which unfortunately aren't Meyers. You can get them at the farmers market though!

     
  • At 31/1/08 05:14, OpenID cookingallday said…

    Seriously nice looking, Sam. I had somthing sligtly similar yesterday substituting the tuna with grilled haloumi cheese and braised beetroots with elderflower cordial and apple vinegar. Not quite as festive (and no meyer lemons in Denmark either, lemons had to fill in) but a little less hassle on a weeknight. And quite nice too :)

     
  • At 31/1/08 05:14, OpenID cookingallday said…

    Seriously nice looking, Sam. I had somthing sligtly similar yesterday substituting the tuna with grilled haloumi cheese and braised beetroots with elderflower cordial and apple vinegar. Not quite as festive (and no meyer lemons in Denmark either, lemons had to fill in) but a little less hassle on a weeknight. And quite nice too :)

     
  • At 31/1/08 08:03, Blogger AnticiPlate said…

    Gorgeous picture! This recipe is right up my alley.

     
  • At 31/1/08 13:15, Blogger Allen of EOL said…

    Sam, I just tried out the confit and included a bit of basil in it as well. I placed it on a piece of crispy toast with a poached egg ... and drizzled the egg with a bit of the oil. I'm in love with meyer lemons ...

     
  • At 1/2/08 14:31, Anonymous swirlingnotions said…

    Wow, wow, wow. I had bulgogi all planned for tonight, but now I think I'm going to have to change course . . . oh my.

     

Post a Comment

<< Home