AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Super Fresh DATE: 3/23/2010 02:46:00 AM ----- BODY:

I never know what sort of adventure awaits me when I visit the farm. Brett may have a chicken “matanza” scheduled, some great tomato at peak harvest, or a wild animal that made its way into the walk-refrigerator.

This time it was (a rather tame) tuna belly that a friend had recently caught on a fishing trip. It was already a few days old by the time we got it, but even still, it was fresher than anything we could have gotten at the fish market.

And perfect for eating raw – as sushi or tartar. The tuna was a paler red than what I usually see at the market – this is from the fat that’s imperceptibly marbled through the meat. The tuna was more tender, and the taste more luscious.

When cooking on the farm, we make do with what’s on hand. He and his family prefer maki rolls. Their well-stocked pantry has plenty of rice, nori (seaweed) and wasabi on hand, making this an easy, go-to meal.

Our maki rolls were not traditional – I did not properly fan the rice as it cooled so it would glisten, though I did season it with rice vinegar, salt and sugar. I seasoned the tuna with a little soy sauce before rolling.

After using all the nori to make rolls, we still had some tuna. I used lettuce leaves instead to wrap the remainder.

An old favorite is tuna timbale with avocado and smoked salmon. Brett had a few ripe avocadoes, but no smoked salmon. The avocado was seasoned with scallions, cilantro, a touch of chipotle and lime juice. The tuna was seasoned with soy sauce and scallions. For an extra layer of color, I garnished the plate with a few sprigs of the greenhouse lettuce and a drizzle of wasabi. If I had wasabi peas, I would have sprinkled a few on the plate for textural contrast and a quick shot of heat.


----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:3/23/2010 08:00:00 AM Tuna fest! I love it. The tuna timbale is a great idea for a summer lunch dish, too. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Melissa DATE:3/24/2010 01:11:00 AM Oh my that picture of the maki is so BEAUTIFUL. Fresh tuna. Man. And with avocado too... this is the kind of food that elicits a physical reaction from me here at the computer. Spectacular. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Sylvie in Rappahannock DATE:3/24/2010 10:43:00 AM Don't you love working with impeccably fresh ingredients?
I had the opportunity to prepare dinner for 8 last December, and the client wanted me to be ready to prepare tuna that he was going to fish. Caught Thursday afternoon, eaten Saturday evening... it was incredible. I prepared it tartare with a Sicilian twist. Incredible! Reminded me of the fish of my childhood, the ones we would go to the shore and wait for the fishermen to get back, and then buy off the boat. So good. ----- --------