Annotated Recipe: Za’atar-Crusted Tuna

This tasty tuna recipe from fish-master Chip Roman of Conshohocken’s Blackfish uses bold flavors to spice up the winter months.


This tasty tuna recipe from fish-master Chip Roman of Conshohocken’s Blackfish uses bold flavors to spice up the winter months. The dish comes together quickly, but the tangy oven-dried tomatoes take some time; make a big batch for future meals.

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Preheat oven to 200 degrees. In a mixing bowl, toss whole tomatoes with ¼ cup olive oil, paprika, salt, garlic, 2 tablespoons shallots, thyme and basil. Spread on a sheet pan and place in oven for 4 hours. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, sauté sausage until nicely browned (it will crumble as you cook), about 10 minutes. Remove sausage and set aside. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat from pan, return pan to medium heat, and add vinegar to deglaze, scraping up browned bits, about 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon shallots, capers and tomato sauce; mix to incorporate, then remove from heat. Season with salt, pepper and chives, and return sausage to pan. Meanwhile, heat a cast iron pan over high heat with canola oil until smoking. Season tuna with salt and pepper, then roll in za’atar on all sides, until well covered. Sear tuna, 1 minute on each side for rare. Evenly divide tomatoes and tuna among plates and cover with sauce; serve immediately. Serves 4.