Tonno ai Ferri
Region: Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Difficulty: Easy but special equipment needed
The specialty from the province of Trieste in the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia is sprinkled with crushed fennel seed before grilling. If your tuna is very fresh, as it should be, with blood still visible, soak in cold water for 20 minutes before preparing. In Calabria and Basilicata they grill trout in the same manner.
[photo: Clifford A. Wright]
Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
Preparation Time: 35 minutes
4 fresh tuna steaks, 1 inch thick (about 2 pounds total)
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed in a mortar
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. Prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill for 15 minutes on high.
2. Sprinkle the tuna with the fennel seeds and season with salt and pepper. Moisten with olive oil on both sides. Place the tuna steaks on the grill and cook, sprinkled with a bit more fennel seeds if desired, until deep black grid marks appear, 6 to 7 minutes on each side. Serve hot.
Marinate the tuna for 1 hour with the fennel seeds, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, the olive oil, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice before grilling.