Make Ahead

Tuna and French Tarragon Terrine

August 15, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Makes enough to fill a 2 cup mold
Author Notes

This recipe was made for Charcutepalooza. It was insipred by Michael Ruhlman's recipe for a seafood terrine which had crab and scallop in it. The thing is, I just don't like crab. I've tried it in several places and in several applications; I'm just not a fan. The other problem is that my family is not a big fan of fish. There are a few ways they will accept it but it is not one of those things that gets requested in my house. The only fish that my oldest daughter likes is canned tuna. So I thought the best shot I had at a seafood terrine was one with tuna. ?

Rhulman's recipe calls for a saffron infused cream. I thought this would get lost standing up against tuna since tuna has such a strong, distinct flavor. I looked out into my herb garden for an alternate and my eyes fell upon my French tarragon. Now there is an herb that can stand up to tuna. So by adapting Rhulman's recipe I came up with my own terrine.

It is best served on a good cracker with some bruschetta on top.


Test Kitchen Notes

Dabblings's tuna terrine is delicious, simply delicious. It is light and elegant, and all the flavors come together perfectly. I was forced to substitute fresh rosemary from my patio for the fresh tarragon, but I don't think the overall flavor suffered a bit. We enjoyed the tuna terrine with a warm baguette, tomato jam, capers, crème fraiche, pickled red onion and avocado. It was cold and blustery day in Indiana, but the herb, citrus and tuna tasted fresh and summery. This dish is a stunner and I intend to make it for guests. One additional note: It took about 50 minutes to bake and looked very much like Dabblings’s lovely picture. —LLStone

What You'll Need
  • 6 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh French tarragon; finely chopped
  • 1 pound of fresh tuna
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice; freshly squeezed
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup of fresh chives, chopped
  1. Freeze all of the blades and bowls a couple of hours ahead of when you plan to make your terrine.
  2. Put the cream and the French tarragon in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring the cream to a boil. Once the cream has reached a boil remove it from the heat, and let it stand for 15 minutes. Then place the saucepan in the refrigerator and let it chill while you make the terrine.
  3. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  4. Combine the tuna and the egg white in the bowl of the food processor. Puree the tuna until smooth. Then with the machine running pour in the tarragon cream in a steady stream. Add in the slat, pepper, lemon juice and lemon zest. Pulse until completely combined. Transfer the tuna mixture to a bowl and fold in the chives. Place the tuna mixture into the refrigerator while you prepare the terrine mold.
  5. Line a 2 cup mold with plastic wrap, leaving enough overhang to cover the terrine once it has been filled. Fill the terrine with the tuna mixture. Fold the plastic wrap over the tuna mixture, then cover it with aluminum foil.
  6. Place the terrine in a high sided roasting pan and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the mold. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the terrine reaches 140 degrees.
  7. Remove the terrine from the oven, remove from the water bath, and set a weight of about 2 lbs. (a couple of soup cans) on top of it. Let it cool, then refrigerate overnight.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Dmitriy Borovkov
    Dmitriy Borovkov
  • AntoniaJames
  • boulangere
  • Dabblings

4 Reviews

Dmitriy B. August 14, 2015
Hi, how long is backing time before I should check the temp? THnx
AntoniaJames December 29, 2011
Love it!! Great recipe. ;o)
boulangere August 15, 2011
Beautiful improvisation!
Dabblings August 15, 2011
Thanks :) It is really summery with all of the herbs and lemon.