Albacore Tuna with Dijon Mustard and Meyer Lemon

Michael Cimarusti

Providence and Connie and Ted's, Los Angeles



Fennel Pollen–Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette:

  • 2 Meyer lemons, juiced
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 pinch lightly toasted fennel pollen
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Tuna and Fennel:

  • 12 ounces (3/4 pound) albacore tuna
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup colatura
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Maldon salt to taste
  • Fennel Pollen–Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
  • 1 preserved meyer lemon, seeds and pulp removed, rind diced
  • 1 bunch bronze fennel fronds
  • 1 pinch Espelette pepper
  • 1 pinch fennel pollen


For the fennel pollen–Meyer lemon vinaigrette: strain the Meyer lemon juice through a fine mesh strainer. Add the salt, sugar, and fennel pollen. With the help of an immersion blender, emulsify the Dijon mustard into the juice. Add the grapeseed oil and olive oil and emulsify into the juice to form the vinaigrette.

To prepare the albacore: cut the fish into blocks that are approximately 2‐inches across, 1‐inch high, and 4‐inches long. Place a pot of water on the fire, salt it liberally, and bring it to a fast boil. Prepare an ice bath. Drop the tuna into the boiling water for 5 to 10 seconds, just until the surface of the fish turns white. Remove the fish to the ice bath. (Note: the fish should not stay in the water any longer than 4 hours).

Prepare a marinade for the fish with the colatura, 2 cups water, and the garlic. Remove the fish from the ice bath and pat dry. Place the fish in the marinade. This can be done up to 4 hours before you intend to serve the fish. 

Wash the fennel under cold water. Slice the fennel on a Japanese mandolin as finely as possible. Place the fennel in an ice bath—this will crisp the fennel and make it translucent. The fennel can remain in the ice water for several hours and should be dried in a salad spinner before it is used. When you’re ready to serve, lightly dress the shaved fennel with the Fennel Pollen–Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette.
To finish the dish: slice the tuna into 1/4-inch-thick slices. You should serve between 5 and 7 slices per person. Drizzle a little olive oil on each slice and season the fish lightly with Maldon salt. Spoon a bit of the vinaigrette onto each plate. Place the fish on the plate and drizzle a bit more vinaigrette over each slice of fish. Place a piece of preserved Meyer lemon on each piece of fish. Garnish the plate with lightly dressed shaved fennel and the bronze fennel fronds. Add a pinch of Espelette pepper and a pinch of fennel pollen over each plate and serve immediately.


4 servings