Poached Tuna with Warm Squash, Corn, and Potato Salad

By • September 19, 2012 • 6 Comments



Author Notes: You're going to think I'm lazy. And you're right.

I like olive oil, I like vegetables, and I like warm salads. So when I'm not feeling particularly inventive or energetic, I like to throw them all together in a single dish. Vegetables get roasted. Fish gets poached in oil (an old stand-by for me). A squeeze of lemon and a dried chile come in to give everything a kick in the pants. And I have a comforting dinner on the table without much thought or effort.

We like our summer produce at Food52 -- Want us to send you another corn newsletter? Watch out, or we will! -- so I had to get just one more blast of corn and squash in under the wire. Then, soon, I'll behave and start cozying up to apples and cabbage.
Amanda Hesser

Serves 4

  • 4 ears corn, kernels cut from the cobs
  • Salt
  • Good olive oil
  • 3 medium yellow squash or zucchini, trimmed and each cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
  • 2 medium white potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pound tuna, cut 1-inch thick (probably 2 pieces)
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 1 dried chile
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, cut into 4 quarters
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the corn on a baking sheet. Season with salt and lightly dress with olive oil, tossing to coat. Spread the squash strips on one half of another baking sheet, and the cubed potatoes on the other half. Also season with salt and dress with oil. Place both baking sheets in the oven and roast until the corn begins to brown (about 15 minutes), and the squash is brown and the potatoes are crisp (about 30 minutes). Remove from the oven and as soon as the squash is cool enough to touch, cut the wedges crosswise into chunks.
  2. Meanwhile, lay the tuna in a single layer in a saucepan that fits it snugly. Wedge the thyme, garlic, and chile wherever they'll fit. Season with tuna with salt, then generously douse the tuna with olive oil -- it should come up about 1/4 inch on the side of the pan. Lift a corner of each piece of tuna and tilt the pan so the oil spreads under the fish as well.
  3. Place the tuna over low heat and gently cook the tuna, spooning the hot oil over the top of the tuna as well -- the oil should never boil. As soon as the fish is half cooked through (5 to 10 minutes), turn the tuna pieces and cook the other side. You want the tuna to be a faint pink in the center when it's done.
  4. While the tuna and vegetables are still warm, it's time to plate the dish! Spoon a bed of potatoes on each plate. Cover with a healthy smattering of squash and corn. Top with the tuna, broken into pieces. Spoon a little of the tuna cooking oil over the fish and vegetables. Serve with a lemon wedge.

Comments (6) Questions (0)

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about 1 year ago chefbonandee

Made this for lunch for the boyfriend and I today! It turned out really wonderful. The corn stays ever so slightly crunchy - I'm big on texture variety in my meals, and this had great balance. There was no instruction for the shallot, so I threw the slices into the poaching oil and then spooned them over the plate. My only regret was that I didn't open up the dried chile, so the heat of it didn't get into the oil much. Next time I'll go for a bit more kick. And there WILL be a next time. This one's a keeper.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Happy to hear you liked it! The shallot should be thinly sliced (it says this on the ingredient list, but not in the instructions). And I'm glad you pointed out the detail about the chile -- great tip if anyone wants more heat. Thanks!

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almost 2 years ago Scribbles

I made this last night for dinner with fresh produce I purchased in the afternoon from my local farmer - it was so so good! I pan-seared the tuna then finished it in the oven the last few minutes with the veggies.
Thanks for a great, quick and good for us dinner!

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almost 2 years ago fhp

I think Im going to poach the tuna and put it on the bean tostada.
Damn the whole thing would be good on a tostada; guilt free or not.

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almost 2 years ago charlenecara

Amanda you are the master of understatement if you call this lazy. It is brilliant simplicity. It reminds me a bit of the "single girl salmon" from your book which is one of my all time favorite standbys. This is a versatile formula that will lend itself to thousands of variations. I'm imagining swordfish, rosemary, roasted potatoes, garlic and red peppers. Thanks for a wonderful idea!

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almost 2 years ago Angela @ the well-worn apron

I would love to try this with Tuna Belly. I had a chance to "test" some recently and thought it was delicious. Unfortunately, it's a little tough to come by.