When lemons are sliced paper-thin on a mandoline they become almost sweet, offering a brilliant, delicious contrast to the rich, densely-flavoured tuna.
2 lemons (Meyer lemons if available)
About 12 oz. ultra-fresh tuna fillet, cut into even strips about 3/4" thick and about 4" long
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh summer savory leaves (or substitute thyme leaves or rosemary leaves)
4 sprigs fresh summer savory, thyme, or rosemary for garnish
Equipment: A mandoline or very sharp knife; a large nonstick skillet
Step 1: With a mandoline or a very sharp knife, slice the lemons into paper-thin slices, shaving the slices directly into a large, shallow bowl to catch all the juices. Add the strips of tuna, olive oil, and herbs. Toss to blend and marinate for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Heat the skillet over high heat. When hot, remove the tuna from the marinade, drain carefully, and place in the skillet. Working quickly, sear the fish for about 15 seconds on each side for rare tuna, longer for tuna that is well cooked. Immediately transfer the tuna to dinner plates. Spoon the lemons and marinade over the seared tuna. Arrange a branch of herbs alongside for garnish. Serve immediately.
Reprinted with permission from Patricia Wells' The Provence Cookbook (2004 HarperCollins).