Submitted by: Richard Hammond
Servings: Serves 4 as an Appetizer
Ingredients: 4 large seedless navel oranges
4 cups baby arugula & spinach mix, washed & spun dry
1 lb. block sushi-grade tuna
28 large pitted black olives, drained
10 oz. raw walnuts (split 8 + 2)
1 whole head of garlic
2 lemons + 2 limes, room temp
1 small bunch of fresh basil, washed & spun dry
1 tbsp dry mustard
1 tbsp whole fennel seed
2 tbsp raw honey
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
Sea salt & fresh pepper to taste
EV olive & coconut oils, cold-pressed walnut oil
Instructions: THE DAY BEFORE: (making the vinaigrette)
Pre-heat the oven to 350° F
Tear off about an 8-inch strip of heavy-duty foil and grease the middle with just a little coconut oil. Use a serrated knife to saw off the very top of the head of garlic, place the garlic cut-side-down on the foil and gather it up into a “purse” leaving a small vent on top.
Roast the garlic for one hour on the middle rack of the oven, then remove the foil purse and allow it to cool to room temp.
Meanwhile prepare the other dressing ingredients by first toasting the fennel seed in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. When the seeds are fragrant, remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool.
Rinse the 2 ounces of raw walnuts under warm water and dry them on a towel. Add the dry mustard, the raw honey and the 2 ounces of walnuts to a blender. Squeeze the lemons and limes and add all their juice to the blender, straining out any seeds from the lemons.
Put the cooled fennel seed and the kosher salt in a clean electric spice mill or coffee grinder (used specifically for grinding whole spices) and grind the fennel and salt to a powder. Add this mixture to the blender also.
When the roasted garlic is ready, remove it from the foil, hold it in one hand cut-side-down over the blender and squeeze the roasted garlic in with the dressing ingredients. Pick over the basil, discarding any woody stems and pack all the herb leaves and stems down into the blender also.
Cover the blender and switch onto the highest speed. Remove the center cap from the cover and with the blades still running, drizzle in EV olive oil until the dressing is emulsified, probably around ¾ to 1 cup of oil. Transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate this vinaigrette.
30 MINUTES BEFORE SERVICE:
Place 4 salad plates in the freezer and pre-heat the oven to 170° F
Wash the 8 ounces of walnuts in warm water, drain and place them on a baking sheet. Put them in the oven to dry and keep warm until you are ready to serve.
Using a very sharp 5” utility or even a boning knife, cut the peels off the tops and bottoms of the oranges and placing an orange flat on a cutting board, slice the peel and pith down and away as you go around each orange. You should now have 4 completely cleaned oranges with a flat top and bottom.
Hold each orange over a medium stainless mixing bowl and using the sharpest knife available, cut each orange into supremes (orange segments trimmed from their membranes). Collect all the supremes and their juice, squeezing any juice from the remaining cores into the bowl as well. Keep the supremes of orange refrigerated in their bowl.
Pat the block of tuna dry and season the top and bottom generously with fresh cracked pepper and then a little sea salt. Grease a cast iron skillet lightly with coconut oil and place over medium high heat. When the oil glistens, tilt the pan up and away from you slightly and carefully slip the tuna into the pan as you lay it flat over the burner again. Sear the tuna for about 1 to 2 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally toward the end of this cooking time to see if the tuna has “released”. When it’s ready, use a flexible metal fish spatula to flip the tuna onto the other side, holding the top lightly with one finger as you turn it and sear it for another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the seared tuna which should still be significantly rare in the middle to a cutting board to rest. Tent it with foil to keep warm while you prepare the greens.
Get the chilled salad bowls from the freezer, take the supremes out of the refrigerator, add the mixed greens to this bowl and use tongs to gently toss the greens with the oranges and juice. Drizzle this mixture with a couple tablespoons of cold-pressed walnut oil, season with a little sea salt and fresh pepper and toss again with the tongs to combine. Use the tongs to divide the greens evenly among the four salad plates; pour any remaining juices over each salad also.
Use a very sharp knife or meat slicer to slice the rested tuna against the grain into 12 flat rectangles. Fan out three slices across the greens on each plate. Check the salad dressing for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Ladle some of the prepared vinaigrette in a zigzag pattern across the tuna and greens and a little drizzle all around each rim if desired using a teaspoon. Arrange 7 black olives around the outside edge of each salad and then sprinkle each plate with evenly divided portions of the warmed walnuts and serve immediately!
Yes there will be plenty of vinaigrette left over so cover and refrigerate and reserve for other uses. Use within one week.
Notes: Find chef Rick Hammond at www.chef4thenite.com