Friday, May 18, 2018

Eric Ripert's Seared Ahi Tuna with Sauce Vierge

This is a Friday night dinner that is quick and simple to make and full of flavor. The fact that it includes many of my favorite things like fresh ahi tuna, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and fennel makes it even better. Normally I am leery about taking away too much of the deliciousness of seared ahi by adding a lot of other ingredients, but fish is usually in good hands with Eric Ripert, so I was excited to try his recipe for Seared Ahi Tuna with Sauce Vierge from Food & Wine Magazine.

I used local fennel and local ahi tuna--the pieces are a bit flatter than some tuna steaks but they sear quickly and taste delicious.

Food & Wine says, "This light, easy tuna recipe evokes the flavors of southern France. The fish is crusted with herbes de Provence, then drizzled with Ripert’s take on sauce vierge, an oil that he flavors with sun-dried tomatoes, basil and capers."

Seared Ahi Tuna with Sauce Vierge
Slightly Adapted from Eric Ripert via Food & Wine Magazine
(Serves 4)

8 drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, minced (about 1/4 cup)
2 Tbsp drained capers
2 Tbsp finely chopped basil
2 Tbsp finely chopped scallion greens
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Four 4-oz sushi-grade tuna steaks
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp herbes de Provence
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 fennel bulb—trimmed, cored & thinly sliced
1 lemon, quartered

Make the sauce vierge:
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.

Prepare the tuna:
Season the tuna steaks all over with salt, pepper and the herbes de Provence. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the canola oil until shimmering. Add the tuna and sear over high heat until golden, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer the tuna steaks to a cutting board and slice them 1/4-inch thick.

To Serve: 
Arrange the fennel on plates, top with the tuna and drizzle with the sauce vierge. Squeeze the lemon over the tuna and serve.

Notes/Results:  OK, this sauce vierge may be my new favorite sauce--it's so good and simple--just olive oil with chopped sun-dried tomatoes, basil, green onion and capers. I made a full batch of it and just half the fish recipe. I would use it on any fish and I don't eat chicken, but I think it would be excellent with it, and even just on the fennel, or other veggies, it would be great. I thought the herbs de Provence might be too much for the tuna and the sauce but it all went together really well--the cool, crisp bite of the fennel was perfect as a base. This will end up being one of my favorite Eric Ripert dishes and I will happily make it again.

Linking up with I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is From the Sea
And I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Happy Weekend!


  1. Hi Deb -- couldn't find your email and would like to post in Cook the Books current roundup for the Sichuan book. Can you please send me your email? [email protected]

    BTW - I just love Eric Ripert, especially the TV segment he did with Anthony Bourdain on the French Alps -- hilarious!

  2. Your sauce really does sound like a winner. And my guess is that it would keep very well, if not actually improve with age!

    best... mae at

  3. That sauce does sound tasty. I may have to take your suggestion and try it with chicken since I don't care for seared ahi.

  4. I'm going to go for that sauce. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  5. What a beautiful presentation of that tuna and the sauce sounds wonderful

  6. I sure wish we could get fresh tuna here -- I mean I see "fresh" tuna in the grocery store, but seeing as we're on the coast, I wonder how fresh is fresh. I'm going to make that sauce and try it on chicken.

  7. That would be my favorite sauce, too! Beautiful dish.

  8. I wasn't sure about the flavors with the tuna until I read your endorsement. Now I want to give it a try!

  9. I can see why this is a favorite for you. All of your favorite things on one plate. Delicious, healthy, and pretty on the plate. You can't go wrong!


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