Mellow Yellowfin Tuna

Tuna was not usually my first choice of fish until I started using good quality olive oil.  It makes all the difference.  I like this simple, very mellow version, so you can really taste the tuna, but I've added another option at the bottom that is more traditional and has more robust flavors.

1 to 1 1/4 lb. tuna steaks (about 2 inches thick) 

4 tablespoons Milanese Gremolata, Lemon or Persian Lime Olive Oil, divided

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

2 shallots, minced

3 medium cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon homey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar (optional)

2 tablespoons soy sauce (optional)

Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon zest, shallots, garlic, salt and pepper on a plate or shallow dish.  Add the tuna steaks and turn over so both sides are coated with the marinade.  Let marinate 20 minutes or up to 2 hours, occasionally turning over.

Heat a skillet to medium-medium high.  If using a cast iron pan, let it heat about 3-5 minutes so it's really hot.  If using non-stick, only heat about 1 minute.  Place the remaining olive oil and the steaks in the pan and let sit about 2 minutes (if the steaks are thinner, cut down the cooking time).  Turn over and cook about 2 minutes more for medium rare, 2 1/2 minutes for medium.  Sear the edges for about 30 seconds on each edge.

Place the steaks on a plate and cover with foil.  Let rest about 5 minutes.  Serve.

I put the Honey Ginger and soy sauce on the table and let people drizzle if they wish.

* If you want to make an Asian version, combine 2 tablespoons Unflavored Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and some garlic and ginger.