Reading (more like drooling) through the seasonal menu at 1789, there were at least a dozen dishes I would have loved to make with Chef Lombardo, like the Duck Confit Strudel with mascarpone cheese, cherry compote and foie gras creme (umm yes, that’s duck, cheese, and foie… all packaged up in a pastry). But we agreed to make something lighter, a dish that us home cooks could take a stab at and hopefully succeed in impressing future dinner guests, because I don’t know about you but I ain’t messing with no home-foie gras. We chose to make the Yellowfin Tuna and Florida citrus salad, a dish that can easily be a starter or a main course, with vibrant colors and clean, fresh flavors.
Being that it was at 1789, I expected a million techniques and sauces and tricks and expensive ingredients to come together, but the opposite occurred. Simplicity is the name of the game here. The yellowfin tuna is cooked just rare, served warm on a bed of sliced oranges and grapefruit, drizzled with a lemon vinaigrette and topped with a fennel and mache salad. The combination of citrus, crisp, salt, pepper and mixed temperatures makes for a satisfying and beautiful dish.
This year, 1789 is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and as part of that celebration is offering diners an opportunity to have a 5 course meal for $50.00. If there is one thing you have to do right this month, its this. Let Lombardo take care of you, you can thank me later.
Find the recipe after the jump, and bring a little 1789 home.
Anthony Lombardo’s Yellowfin Tuna with Citrus Salad
Shaved baby fennel, Mache, and Meyer lemon vinaigrette
2 seedless navel oranges
1 ruby red grapefruit
4 heads of baby fennel – shaved razor thin
¼ cup of the frawns from the baby fennel
1 bunch or 2 cups of Mache leafs- trim off the stem
4 – 6 oz pieces of #1 Yellowfin Tuna
Juice from 3 Meyer Lemons
1 cup of very good Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 Tbls of fresh chopped Thyme
Salt and Black pepper
For cooking the Tuna
Can be either grilled or pan roasted, but I prefer grilled to medium/medium rare in the summer time. If grilling it is just important that is stays rare, make sure your grill is very hot.
For the Vinaigrette
Roll the Meyer lemon on the table to loosen the flesh of the fruit, then cut and half and squeeze through a small sieve. Squeeze all 3 lemons into a bowl, then add the olive oil, fresh thyme, and season with salt and pepper.
For the citrus
Carefully cut down the side of the Orange as to make sure you are taking off all the skin, but not wasting any fruit. Once you have a rind-less orange, cut round circles all the same size. The same technique for the grapefruit, cut all of the rind off leaving just the meaty fruit. Then cut in between all of the cells of the fruit, leaving beautiful segments.
Arrange the citrus on the plate and simply drizzle some olive oil and crack some fresh black pepper. Place the grilled or pan roasted Tuna on top of the citrus.
For the Salad
Simply toss the mache, some of the fennel frawns and the shaved baby fennel in a bowl with the vinaigrette. Season for taste and place on top of the fish.
Fish should be warm and everything else room temperature.