I realize that tuna is an expensive fish, but there is almost no waste, it tastes great, and it is full of those wonderful fatty acids that we are supposed to eat. I made this dish last night, and had I not known what I was eating, I would have sworn that it was a New York Strip steak. It went wonderfully with the sautéed tomatoes that you, hopefully, see below.
Marinated Tuna Steak
2-inch thick tuna steak, trimmed of skin and any connective tissue
oz. of good-quality extra virgin olive oil
tsp. fresh thyme leaves (don’t chop them)
tsp. fresh black pepper
tsp. lemon zest
½ tsp. kosher salt
Whisk the olive oil with the lemon zest and the thyme and pour over the tuna steak. Dredge the tuna through the oil so that it is completely covered in the oil-and-herb mixture. Cover and refrigerate for two hours. If you remember, turn the steak once or twice to ensure even marinating. Remove the steak from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking.
Preheat a heavy cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat for at least five minutes. Make sure that it is well seasoned; otherwise, the fish might stick to the pan. Meanwhile, remove the tuna from the marinade and salt and pepper both sides. leave whatever thyme and lemon has adhered to the fish. Turn the heat up to high for about one minute and place the tuna steak in the middle of the skillet. Do not move it or poke it; you are looking for a nice sear, and if you are impatient, the tuna will stick to the pan and you will have to order a pizza. The house is going to get a bit smoky, so turn the exhaust fan up to hurricane setting. With a large metal spatula, turn the fish, hopefully in one motion. After another three minutes, you have a choice of removing the tuna or searing the sides, as well. Just be careful not to overcook the tuna. Let the steak rest for a minute, then slice and serve. By the way, the cooking time above is for a rare steak (the only way to have it).