Tuna poached in oil with tomatoes, garlic and beans

Tuna poached in oil with tomatoes, garlic and beans

Fish Kitchen
David Loftus

Tuna is landed in Cornwall, but it’s a rare occurrence, so I generally use imported albacore, yellowfin or bonito, making sure that they are from sustainable sources. The Italians and Spanish can tuna with amazing olive oil and make fantastic salads with it. I’ve basically stolen the idea and made it mine by using local rapeseed oil with garlic, beans and tomatoes. If you can’t get hold of sustainable fresh tuna, use salmon or sea trout instead.


Quantity Ingredient
4 tuna steaks
400ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil
12 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 rosemary sprigs
2 bay leaves
20 cherry tomatoes
200g fresh green beans, topped and tailed
400g tinned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
handful small basil leaves
1 lemon, finely zested and juiced
cornish sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. To prepare the poaching oil, heat the oven to its lowest setting (about 90°C). Pour the rapeseed oil into an ovenproof dish (that will hold the tuna steaks in a single layer later) and add the garlic cloves, rosemary and bay leaves. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes to infuse.
  2. Add the cherry tomatoes to the dish and return to the oven for about 40 minutes until they are cooked. Remove them with a slotted spoon, keeping the oil and aromatics in the dish to cook the tuna. Turn the oven up to 160°C.
  3. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add salt, then add the green beans and blanch for 2 minutes until tender but retaining a bite. Drain the beans and plunge into a bowl of ice-cold water to retain their colour.
  4. To cook the tuna, season with salt and pepper, then place the steaks in the dish in the oven, making sure they are completely submerged in the oil. Cook for 10 minutes and then remove from the oven. Transfer the tuna to a warm plate; keep warm.
  5. Add the green and white beans to the oil with the tomatoes and warm through in the oven for 3 minutes. Drain the beans, garlic, tomatoes and herbs in a sieve over a bowl, to save the oil.
  6. Divide the warm tomatoes, beans and garlic between warm plates and place a tuna steak on each plate. Scatter the basil and lemon zest on top. Mix the lemon juice with three times its volume of poaching oil to make a dressing and season with salt and pepper. Trickle the dressing over the tuna and serve.
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