Italian Style Tuna Confit with Garden Beans


  • 1 1/2 lbs. tuna steak, 1 1/2" thick
  • thyme
  • garlic cloves, crushed, unpeeled
  • fennel seeds
  • dried chile peppers
  • peppercorns
  • 4 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs. fava beans, fresh
  • 1 1/2 lbs. green beans
  • 2 medium shallots
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • pepper
  • Aioli*, *see Note


  • Season the tuna generously with salt and place in a deep bowl with thyme, garlic, fennel, dried peppers and peppercorns. Cover with olive and refrigerate for several hours.
  • When ready to cook, transfer all to a heavy bottomed non-reactive pot and heat slowly. When the oil is warm, lower heat and continue cooking for 12-15 minutes. Turn the fish over half way through. It will be slightly pink in the middle when finsihed (take a peek with a pairing knive, just bending the flesh back a bit).
  • Remove the fish from the heat, and cool. Reserve the oil. After it has cooled it can be replaced in the oil and remain in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Cook the shelled fava beans (or any fresh shell beans) in water to cover by 1". Add thyme, salt and a little olive oil. Cook until tender. Let the beans cool in their cooking liquid.
  • Blanch the green beans in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Plunge in ice water to cool.
  • Make a vinaigrette with the vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the confit oil. Taste to correct balance and seasoning.
  • Drain the fava beans and toss with green beans with vinaigrette. Arrange on plates with broken pieces of tuna over the top. Serve with aioli on the side.
  • *Aioli: Mash 3 cloves of garlic in a mortar with a little salt. Take out 1/3 of the paste and set aside. To the remaining garlic add 1 teaspoon water, 1/4 teaspoon salt and egg yolk, whisking. Add 1 cup olive oil in a slow steady stream. If too thick, add a bit more water. Taste and add more garlic and salt. Refrigerate and use the same day.


  • SOURCE: Adapted from Alice Waters