I couldn’t resist taking advantage of the ahi tuna sale at Whole Foods (prime members $14.99/lb.) As I didn’t have any idea of what to make for supper, I used the food app, epicurious.com, and found an interesting recipe for Fennel-Crusted Ahi Tuna with Lemon Aioli Over Couscous. The recipe originally appeared in Bon Appetit Magazine in August 2005.
I already had whole fennel seeds and black peppercorns on hand. As I don’t find a need to have whole coriander seeds in my cupboard, I substituted ground coriander. Also, on hand was fresh lemon juice, Duke’s Mayonnaise, fresh garlic, a carrot and extra virgin olive oil. I opted for dry dill instead of fresh as I would only be using it for this recipe. I purchased from Delicious Orchards a red onion and sugar snap peas. I also needed fresh thyme. Delicious Orchards sells herb plants, so I decided to go with a thyme plant that I could later plant in my herb garden. The only other item I needed was a package of couscous that I picked up at my local food store.
Earlier in the afternoon, I toasted the fennel and peppercorns for approximately 3 minutes. When they were fragrant, I removed them and then added my ground coriander. I stirred the coriander around for approximately 1 minute. Next, I was on to the lemon aioli. Both items were done and set aside until it was time to sauté the carrot and onion, which became the flavoring base for the couscous.
The couscous could be made up to two hours ahead. The recipe called for grilling the tuna and refrigerating for one hour before slicing. I opted to serve my tuna and couscous hot. Had the weather been a lot warmer, I would have gone for a cold supper.
The tuna was delicious, however, I overcooked it a bit. The grill was preheated and super hot. I should have decreased the heat. The recipe said to cook 4 minutes per side, I did 5 as my husband doesn’t like rare tuna. Overall the dish was sublime. The fennel/coriander/black pepper coating gave the tuna a bit of heat. The lemon aioli counted the heat with some tang. The couscous with the sugar snap peas offered a hint of sweetness. I think I also found a new vegetable that I would like to have again. My husband and I enjoyed this dish, next time, during warmer weather, we’ll try this dish cold.
Fennel-Crusted Ahi Tuna with Lemon Aioli Over Couscous
BON APPÉTIT AUGUST 2005
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
4 garlic cloves, minced, divided
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 carrot, peeled, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 1/4 cups water
1/2-pound sugar snap peas
2 cups couscous
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 1/2 pounds ahi tuna steaks (about 1 1/4 inches thick)
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.