This luxurious composed salad from Fiorella Butron, the culinary director of Sonoma’s Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards & Winery and its EDGE restaurant, combines two early-spring favorites — asparagus and fava beans — with tuna confit. Pickled radishes add spicy acidity and dehydrated Kalamata olives provide intense crunch.
The recipe, featured in the “Stone Edge Farm Kitchen Larder Cookbook” (Rizzoli, $35) suggests using a dehydrator to dry olives but also says you can line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread three cups of olives in a single layer. Bake at 150 degrees for 2-3 hours or until dried. Chop and transfer crumbles to a glass jar, cap tightly and store at room temperature for up to one month.
Asparagus, Olive, Fava Bean, Pickled Radish and Tuna Salad
20 asparagus spears
1½ pounds fava beans, shucked
3 pickled radishes (see recipe below)
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
Artisanal sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ pound Tuna Confit in Aromatic Olive Oil (see recipe below), cut into 12 equal pieces
½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
2 tablespoons Olive Crumbles (see note)
1 tablespoon torn fresh tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon fresh chives, cut in 1-inch lengths
Cut off and discard the tough end from each asparagus spear, then halve each spear on the diagonal. Fill a large bowl with water and ice. Bring a saucepan filled with water to a rapid boil and salt generously with kosher salt. Add the asparagus and boil until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Scoop out the asparagus and plunge them into the ice water bath until chilled. Drain the asparagus well and set aside.
Return the pan of water to a rapid boil and refresh the ice water bath with additional ice. Add the fava beans to the boiling water and boil just until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Scoop out the beans and plunge them into the ice water bath until chilled. Drain well, then peel away the tough outer skin from each bean.
Using a mandoline, thinly slice the radishes lengthwise.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper to make a dressing.
In a bowl, combine the asparagus and favas and coat lightly with some of the dressing.
To serve, arrange three pieces of tuna in the middle of each plate and place some favas, asparagus, and olives around the tuna pieces. Tuck the radishes in among the other
vegetables. Drizzle each serving with a little dressing, then sprinkle with olive crumbles, tarragon, and chives.
1 pound radishes
3 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cup Champagne vinegar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons firmly packed organic light or dark brown sugar
2 cloves garlic
Wash a 500-ml glass jar and its lid in hot, soapy water. Immerse the jar in gently boiling water for 2 minutes. Leave it in the hot water until ready to fill.
Cut the radishes into ¾-inch pieces. If they are small, leave them whole.
In a small cast-iron frying pan over low heat, dry-toast the cardamom and peppercorns, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
In a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, bring the vinegar, water, salt and sugar to a boil and cook until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add the garlic and toasted spices, reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Remove the jar from the hot water and shake off any excess. Pack the radishes into the jar and pour the hot pickling liquid over them, leaving ½-inch headspace. Let cool at room temperature on a rack or a kitchen towel, then cap with the lid and refrigerate for at least 2 days before using, to allow the radishes to cure. They will keep for one month in the refrigerator.
Tuna Confit in Aromatic Olive Oil
500 grams best-quality albacore (tombo) or yellow fin (ahi) tuna steak, trimmed of any dark blood line
Artisanal sea salt
1½ cups extra-virgin olive oil
3 fresh thyme sprigs
3 very thin lemon slices
2 cloves garlic, smashed
A few tender fennel fronds
½ teaspoon pink peppercorns
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
Season the tuna steak generously with salt and set aside.
In a small pot with a diameter that will accommodate the tuna snugly, combine the olive oil and remaining ingredients over medium heat until the herbs just start to crackle and spatter in the oil. Turn off the heat and let the flavors infuse the oil for about 10 minutes.
Return the pot to the stove and warm over the lowest possible heat setting. I use a heat diffuser or cast-iron pan beneath the pot to keep the heat very low. Carefully slide the tuna into the oil. Let the tuna poach in the oil bath until the center of the steak starts to lose its raw color but is still pink and juicy, about 7 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let the tuna cool to
room temperature in the oil.
Transfer the tuna to a container with an airtight lid, then strain the oil through a medium-mesh sieve held over the tuna. Cover with the lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
— From John McReynolds, Mike Emanuel and Fiorella Butron’s “Stone Edge Farm Kitchen Larder Cookbook” (Rizzoli, $35)