It's Friday, so that means by my particular logic, it's Weekend Herb Blogging. I think that Fridays should be added to the weekend. Three day weekends--it works for me. My herb of choice this week is oregano, which grows happily in my backyard. Nary a bug nor snail ever bothers it. Instead, all the pests are waging war on my innocent eggplant seedlings. It's a sad thing for the eggplant, but not the oregano. I had plenty to use for this dish of tuna with roasted cherry tomatoes. Now, if you go over to Kalyn's site, you'll find links to other herb bloggers, who all have fabulous dishes to share with you.
This was pretty simple, which is the way I like my tuna. The tomato
butter was very good and I had some of it left over, which I tossed in
the freezer. I've never gotten over Nigella Lawson's freezer, which
she shared with her viewers. She stashes everything in hers, including
the dregs from her guests' wine glasses. I can't top that, but I do
have a lot of different stocks and flavored butters in my freezer.
Unfortunately, I tend to forget putting the butters in the freezer. Months later I'll discover an unlabeled frozen blob of it and search my
mind in vain for it's true identity. This one is orange colored, so maybe that will help me remember.
Tuna With Tomato Butter and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes (Williams Sonoma)
3 shallots minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut in 1 inch pieces, at room temperature
2-6 tuna, mackerel or bluefish fillets, about 8 ounces each (to be honest, my tuna fillets were bigger than this, but I only used 2 fillets))
2 tablespoons olive oil
up to 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (depends on the amount of fillets you use)
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped, with whole sprigs for garnish
salt and pepper to taste.
To make tomato butter, combine the shallots, butter, tomato paste in a food processor and process until combined. Spoon butter into a bowl and set aside.
If your wish, you can roast the fillets in the oven by placing them in an oiled pan large enough to hold the amount of fillets you are serving. Brush them with oil and sprinkle with the oregano, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Roast at 400 F until the fillets flake, about 8-10 minutes.
But, this is how I do my tuna fillets. After I rinsed them with cold water and patted them dry. I rubbed olive oil on them and rolled them in the oregano. I heated a heavy skillet, with barely 1 tablespoon oil, over high heat until it was hot. I scattered salt onto the bottom of the skillet and placed my fillets into the skillet. I cooked the tuna about 1-1/2 minutes on each side. I like my tuna rare and I don't hold with that "flake" test. I sprinkled some lemon juice on the fish, plated it with some cherry tomatoes, and put a pat of the tomato butter on top of the tuna.
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes (Williams-Sonoma)
1-1/2 Lb. cherry tomatoes
1 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 F. Select a roasting pan large enough to hold tomatoes comfortably and line it with aluminum foil, then oil the foil.
Cut the tomatoes in half an layer them, cut side up, in the pan. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, basil, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the crumbs over the tomatoes.
Roast tomatoes until they are soft and begin to shrivel around the edges--about 15 minutes.