Rated a ‘best choice’ by Monterey Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, Tre-Fin’s pole and line-caught Pacific Northwest albacore are among the region’s most sustainable fish; they are definitely one of the tastiest.
Tre-Fin’s loins are great for olive oil-poached tuna.
From the kitchen
~ Jim Dixon, founder Wellspent and Real Good Food
Let the fish thaw for about 30 minutes.
While they’re still partially frozen, cut the albacore loins across the grain about 2 inches thick, then let thaw completely. (The fillets are called loins since they have the same shape as a pork loin, but only humans and quadrapeds actually have loins.)
Use a small pan that will hold the fish packed together. Pour some oil in the pan, then add the tuna. Add more oil until it comes about half way up the sides of the albacore pieces. Or pour about a half inch of oil in a skillet.
Use the lowest heat setting your burners have, and heat the pan just until small bubbles appear in the oil. If you’re using a skillet, watch for the albacore to start to change color.
Turn the fish pieces over, cover the pan, and let cook for a few minutes; then turn it off and leave the fish in the hot oil for another 30 minutes or so.
While you can eat it warm, I usually put the albacore and the oil in a container in the refrigerator and use it for things like this salad with baby green lima beans. When the albacore’s been eaten, save the oil and any bits of fish to make the Italian tuna mayonnaise called tonnato.
In a saucepan, cover the lima beans with at least three inches of water, add a healthy pinch of sea salt, bring to a gentle boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until just tender, about an hour. Drain (save the cooking liquid for soup) and let cool.
For the pickled red onion, combine a cup of apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Bring to a boil, add the sliced onion, and remove from the heat. Let cool.
Pit the oil-cured olives by pressing them on a cutting board with your thumb. Cut or tear into two or three pieces.
Combine the lima beans, pickled onion, olives, and chopped herbs in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons sparkling vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Toss well, move to a platter, and arrange chunks of the tuna on top. Serve at room temperature.