Sicilian Style Braised Tuna

Serves 4 people

This tuna dish is a specialty from the Sicilian region of Italy.  It gracefully combines tuna with the typical Mediterranean flavors of tomatoes, olives and capers, a flavor combination that seems strange in description but really is delicious in preparation.  It is lovely with some roasted potatoes, or a vegetable salad.  While the recipe calls for fresh tomatoes you can certainly substitute canned whole tomatoes.  Simply drain and reserve the tomato liquid for something else.

4 small pieces of sushi grade Ahi tuna (¼ to ½ pound per adult)
2 lbs of large tomatoes (or one 28 oz can of peeled whole tomatoes)
1 bunch of basil
A few fresh mint leaves
½ cup of dry white wine
½ cup of pitted black olives
2 tablespoons capers
1 small onion
2 minced cloves of garlic
5 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

Remove the skin from the tuna (if still on fish).
Wash and pat dry with a paper towel.
Place on a plate and cover it with the minced garlic adding salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Peel tomatoes by immersing them into a pot of boiling water for about a minute or two. (If you are using canned tomatoes, make sure that you drain them using the liquid for something else). Remove the seeds and cut tomatoes into small pieces.
Mince capers and onions and cut basil and mint into fine stripes.
Grease a baking dish with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and arrange tuna pieces on the bottom. Sprinkle with white wine and spread tomatoes, onion, olive, capers and half of the herbs on top of the fish along with the remaining olive oil. Add salt and pepper.
Place in oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.
Top with remaining fresh herbs and serve immediately.

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