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Seared Tuna with Lemon, Garlic, and Herbs


  • Albacore tuna
  • Pan-sear
  • Heart healthy
  • Italian
  • Grace Parisi
  • Active Time:15 min
  • Total Time:45 min
  • Servings:2
  • Difficulty:Easy
Photo by Julia Gartland

Salmoriglio is a southern Italian sauce or condiment that uses tart lemon juice, garlic, and fresh herbs. The word comes from Sicilian salmurigghiu, roughly translated as “brine.” Here, albacore tuna is lightly “brined” in half of the salmoriglio to infuse flavor and then drizzled with the rest to add brightness and freshness before serving. Serve the tuna with roasted vegetables, such as asparagus, broccolini, or cauliflower or a crisp refreshing salad.


  • ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking

  • Zest of 2 small lemons, removed in strips with a vegetable peeler

  • 2 dried bay leaves, preferably Turkish

  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried

  • 1 sprig rosemary, broken into 2-inch lengths

  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt, plus more for sprinkling

  • 1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns

  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 portion albacore tuna (8 to 10 ounces)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • Crusty bread for serving


Marinate the Tuna

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the olive oil, lemon zest, bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and ⅓ cup water. Let cool completely, then pour half of the marinade into a sealable bag or nonreactive container. Add the tuna, seal the bag, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Sear the Tuna

Remove the tuna from the marinade and pick off any solids, then discard the marinade. Place a medium cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a thin layer of olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the tuna and sear until golden, about 1 minute per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 2 to 3 minutes before cutting into ½-inch-thick slices.

Finish and Serve

Transfer the tuna to a platter and drizzle with the reserved salmoriglio. Garnish with parsley and a pinch of salt, and serve warm or at room temperature with crusty bread.

Premium Seafood Subscription Box delivery of halibut and sockeye portions
Premium Seafood Subscription Box delivery of halibut and sockeye portions

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$159 / box 4.5 lbs

Pro Tips

Pair it Up

Crisp, dry pinot grigio or citrusy sauvignon blanc pair well with assertively-flavored seafood dishes.

Change It Up

This marinade is great on all types of seafood, especially lean white fish like halibut, rockfish, and cod as well as fattier fish like salmon and sablefish

Take it For Lunch

Fill a crusty baguette with leftover tuna and salmoriglio, peppery arugula, and sliced red onions for a yummy sandwich.


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