Tuna Steaks with Basil Sauce

Category : General

Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients (Help):
1 c Plain nonfat yogurt
1/3 c Packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 c Blanced garlic puree*
Salt and pepper
12 sm Red new potatoes
1/3 oz Dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 ts Fennel seeds
1/2 ts Black peppercorns
6 5-oz. tuna steaks, 1" thick
Vegetable oil spray
2 lb Fresh spinach, stems removed
1 pt Cherry tomatoes, halved

*could use roasted garlic puree instead ~Spoon yogurt into a strainer lined
with a paper coffee filter or cheesecloth. Set the strainer over a small
bowl and refrigerate until most of the liquid has drained off the yogurt,
about 3 hours. ~In a mini-processor or blender, combine 1/3 c basil leaves,
blanched garlic puree and drained yogurt - season with salt and pepper.
Puree the sauce until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. (This sauce can be made
up to 8 hours ahead and refrigerated - bring to room temp before using) ~In
a steamer basket set over a pan of simmering water, cook the potatoes until
tender, about 17 mintues. Let cool sloghtly; cut into quarters.
~Meanwhile, in a spice grinder or mortar, gring the dired porcini, fennel
seeds and peppercorns to a fine powder. Pat the tuna steaks dry and season
both sides with salt. Sprinkle the porcini powder all over the tuna,
pressing it into the surface. ~Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with
vegetable spray and heat. Add the tuna steaks and cook over high heat
until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Lightly coat the top of the
tuna with vegetable spray, then turn and cook until browned outside but
still rare in the center, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the tuna to a
cutting board and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Wipe out skillet and set over
high heat. Add the spinach,season with salt and pepper and cook just until
wilted. Add the tomatoes and stir until heated through. Mound spinach on
plates. Arrange tuna and potatoes around the spinach and drizzle about 2
tablespoons of the basil sauce. Garnish with the chopped basil and serve at
once. Reprinted from Food and Wine - June 1996.

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