Monday, May 10, 2010

Seared Tuna with Lavender Crust & Purple Potato Chips

 I started the day by trying to find the perfect image online of a field of lavender, to insert into an email for my Mother. This led me to thinking about cooking with lavender. I love how culinary flowers infuse a dish with a perfumed essence. I ventured over to Dual Specialty Store, an Indian and World Import on 1st Ave. They have everything! 
The name "lavender" is Latin from the word "lavare", and means to wash.
The Romans used lavender to scent and flavor jellies as well as other sweets.
Lavender has become a popular ingredient in cooking for both sweet and savory dishes. Desserts such as creme brulee are scented with lavender and as an ingredient for main courses like lamb and fish.  Try scenting sugar with lavender for baking or even adding to tea.

Seared Tuna with Lavender Crust
Use center-cut tuna, trim and cut the tuna into a block 2 inches across; then cut into 1-inch steaks. 
Crush the sea salt, peppercorns, fennel seeds and lavender with a mortar and pestle. Lightly oil the tuna with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil; evenly coat the tuna with the lavender-pepper mixture.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saute pan. Increase the heat to high and place the tuna in the pan. Sear for 1 minute, then turn over carefully, reducing the heat to medium. Sear the other side for 1 more minute until medium rare. Remove from heat and immediately refrigerate the tuna for at least 1 hour.
Arrange the greens on chilled individual serving plates!!
Drizzle with Lavender Honey Mustard Dressing, I use a delicate Champagne vinegar. 
Thinly slice the tuna and arrange on top of the dressed greens,
with a side of Peruvian purple potato chips.

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