I like words like 'carpaccio'. It reminds me of either a beautifully unaffordable Italian car or something I'd like to order at a fancy restaurant. The neat thing about ahi carpaccio is that it's simple and (as long as you stick with exceptionally high quality ingredients), it's a symphony of everything that's delicious in this world. Perfect for a summer evening!
ingredients to serve two light meals
- about 4 to 6oz fresh sashimi-grade ahi
- highest quality olive oil
- sea salt
- black pepper
- green onion and/or fennel
So let's start with the olive oil. I have to admit, I sometimes buy the organic olive oil from Costco. The oil that you need for this recipe is not. that. oil. Pay a visit to the gentleman at Olympia Olive Oil and ask him for a 'robust' option. We're looking for a spicy olive oil, something bold and luxurious. The one I picked up yesterday was called "Frantoio" - described as 'intense and peppery'. YES.
Now, the tuna. First, make sure you've got your hands on sashimi-grade tuna. Go ahead and ask your fishmonger if it's 'sashimi grade' - it never hurts to confirm. Once you've got your fish, you have a tiny bit of work to do. You're supposed to somehow (elegantly, I'm sure) thin slice the tuna and then pound it a bit to further flatten and tenderize it. This, I was told, is accomplished between sheets of plastic wrap by the finest chefs... but I struggled mightily with this process and in the end gave up and simply pounded the slices on a cutting board with the bottom of a measuring cup until they flattened and easily tore apart into bite-sized pieces. I like to think mine came out just fine. :)
Arrange your tuna slices on a plate, and liberally drizzle olive oil over them. Place in the refrigerator while you get your veggies ready... Mince the green onion and thinly slice the fennel bulb. Place a layer of fennel slices over the fish, then a sprinkle of green onion, and drizzle the whole thing with a little more olive oil. Crack some black pepper over the top and add a few pinches of sea salt to finish the dish.
Refrigerate until just before you serve, and include some crusty bread and a glass of wine (The Wine Loft recommends either a chilled white 2012 Bronis Pinot Grigio @ $10 OR a light French red 2012 Domaine "La Garrigue" Rhone @ $17 - I love dishes that pair with white or red wines!) for light fancy dinner perfection. Enjoy!