Seared Ahi Tuna With Lavender-Pepper Crust

Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 5 mins

Recipe has been adapted from From The Earth To The Table - John's Wine Country Cuisine, by John Ash with Sid Goldstein, published by Dutton Book, 1995. John Ash says, "This makes an elegant first course. The crust is especially intriguing because of the use of lavender."

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. If using the center-cut ahi tuna, trim and cut the tuna into a block approximately 2 inches across; then cut into 1-inch steaks.
  2. Crush the salt, peppercorns, fennel seeds, and lavender with a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin.
  3. Lightly oil the tuna with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil; evenly coat the tuna with the lavender-pepper mixture, patting off any excess.
  4. In a heavy bottomed sauté pan or a cast-iron pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  5. Increase the heat to high and place the tuna in the pan.
  6. Sear for 1 minutes, then turn over carefully, reducing the heat to medium.
  7. Sear the other side for 1 more minutes until medium rare.
  8. Remove from heat and immediately refrigerate the tuna for at least 1 hour but no more than 3 hours.
  9. To serve, arrange the greens on chilled individual serving plates.
  10. Drizzle with Mustard Seed Dressing.
  11. Thinly slice the tuna and arrange on top of the dressed greens.
  12. For the mustard seed dressing:.
  13. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  14. Place mustard seeds in a baking pan.
  15. Place in oven and roast for a couple of minutes (watch carefully so the seeds don't burn).
  16. Remove from oven and let cool.
  17. Whisk all the ingredients together and season to taste.


Most Helpful

Omg! Fantastic! I don't prefer the strong anise flavor of fennel seeds, but I thought that this was to die for, as did my friends. The lavender is a brilliant addition. Imho, this would be a lovely prepartion for lamb chops, as well.

merron-iru kami September 22, 2008

We agreed to try this recipe because we love the flavor the lavender imparts in dishes. We did not realize the tuna was to be eaten cold until we started preparing the dish and wondered if we'd still like it. We invited a friend over who never had ahi tuna before. All she kept saying was this was the best fish dish she ever had and felt like she was dining at a fine restaurant. She gave it 5 star rating. I used my pepper medley instead of just black and white pepper and instead of using the mortar I just buzzed it. Also wondered if the dressing would be a tad too mustardy but it wasn't! The addition of the toasted mustard seeds was a nice touch. We will make it again anytime we feel like making something great with our baby greens.

george-sophie June 04, 2006

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