Bluefin Tuna with Sea Buckthorn

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Yield: 4 servings

8 ounce Bluefin Tuna belly or any fatty fish
1 ounce or 10 nasturtium seedpods (depending on the size of the seedpods)
4 tablespoons apple vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
salt to taste
5 ounces sea buckthorn berries
1/2 quart water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon agar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh seaweed, if available
1-2 cucumber(s)
20 heirloom baby tomatoes, peeled
1 handful of sea plantain
2 tablespoons kombu powder 24 nasturtium leaves

Method: Thinly slice the tuna. Reserve.

For the nasturtium vinegar: In a small pot over medium heat, combine the apple vinegar, sugar and water. Occasionally stir until the sugar has melted, about three to five minutes. Remove from heat and add the salt and nasturtium seedpods. Transfer to a proper size container and cool down. Keep cool until needed, leaving the seedpods in the vinegar.

For the sea buckthorn gel: In a small pot over medium heat, cook the sea buckthorn berries, sugar and water for 15 minutes. Strain using a fine mesh. Try to extract the juice of the sea buckthorn berries by pressing on it. Discard the solid. You should have around 1/2 quart of sea buckthorn berries jus. In a small pot over low heat, use half of the sea buckthorn berries jus. Add the agar and stir to completely dissolve, about three to four minutes. Cool down the jus until it hardens as a jelly (about one hour). With a highspeed blender, mix the jus with the jelly and blend until smooth. Add the salt.

For the garnish: Using a small Parisian spoon or melon baller, get about 20 balls from the cucumber, then slice remaining cucumber into thin slices.

For the plating: Mix the sliced tuna with the vinegar. Salt to taste. Toss the baby tomatoes with the kombu powder. Drop some sea buckthorn berry gel on the plate. Season the cucumber with salt. Finish the plate with the sea plantain, cucumber, fresh seaweed and the nasturtium leaves.

Wine Pairing: Conundrum White Wine 2014, California The complex, elegant and rich Bluefin prep calls for an equally complex wine. Conundrum—an unusual blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Canelli and other white grapes—will make an aromatic partner to this innovative tuna dish.

Recipe courtesy of Francis Wolf, Chef de Cuisine, Le Hatley Restaurant at Manoir Hovey.

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