Sun Basket's Lemon-Rosemary Poached Tuna Over White Bean Salad
Review of Sun Basket's Lemon-Rosemary Poached Tuna Over White Bean Salad
This was the first fish recipe that I tried from Sun Basket. And I always get nervous about a recipe that uses fish that comes in the mail. If the fish, in a fish recipe, isn't fresh, if it isn't tasty, there is absolutely nothing you can do to make a great dish.
Fortunately, my nervousness was mis-placed. The quality of the tuna was quite nice. It had a firm texture, and great color. Most importantly, it smelled and tasted fresh and clean. It was as good as I'd get at my local fish counter.
Poaching the tuna was simple, and it was easy to get it to my preferred doneness (still rare in the center). The water was flavored with both rosemary and lemon, but honestly, I couldn't really taste either on the fish itself.
The white bean salad obviously had white beans, but also tossed in were cherry tomatoes, olives, artichokes and parsley; all with a simple lemon & olive oil dressing. My one complaint about this recipe was with the beans, which I found a bit softer than I like, and a bit stronger flavored; but honestly I'm not sure i rinsed them well enough. And at the end of the day, they didn't ruin the salad for me. The olives provided a nice saltiness, the tomatoes a bite of acid; all the components worked nicely together.
The portion size I'd call modest. A nice sized lunch, or a small dinner. There was plenty of tuna, but I could have used a bit more of the salad.
It was a very simple recipe to make, with very little cooking. The recipe card is well written, and none of the directions were confusing. The recipe card put the cooking at 20 minutes and it didn't take me any longer than that. Making this would be a really easy dinner to do after getting home from work. The salad comes together with just a bit of prep work and chopping.
I was quite happy with this dish. The ingredients were all high quality. It tasted clean and fresh...it was easy to make, and felt really healthy to eat.
As I mentioned above, the most important & most fickle ingredient in a fish recipe is the fish itself. And I'm happy to say Sun Basket's tuna was excellent. At least as good as what I'm able to get at my local market - where I'm able to pick and choose the exact piece of fish I'd like.
Just about everything else that came in the Sun Basket box was fresh, clean and organic. The one exception was the white beans, which I found a bit over cooked/soft. Like canned beans, there was a fair amount of packing liquid in the plastic container; and take your time to rinse them off well - I'm not sure I did a good enough job and the flavor was pretty strong.
The tuna was packed away between the frozen cold packs, with all the other ingredients bagged together for easy sorting.
Included with this dish is:
- Organic lemon
- Organic fresh rosemary
- Cooked white beans
- Organic cherry tomatoes
- Organic artichoke hearts
- Castelvetrano olives
- Organic fresh parsley
You'll need to provide olive oil, salt and pepper.
Making the dish
The recipe card says you can make this dish is 20 minutes, and I think most won't have any problem with that. The only cooking is poaching the fish, and boiling the water takes longer than actually cooking the fish.
The salad is put together simply with just a bit of chopping and a making a quick dressing. The only step that may be a bit tricky is how long/how much to cook the fish. The directions suggest 1-2 mintues for rare (my preference) or 2 - 4 for medium. That time goes quick. And if the tuna gets cooked all the way through, it will be far dryer, and honestly a much different dish.
The recipe card breaks cooking the dish down into just two steps:
- Prep and Cook the Fish: First you bring a pot of water to the boil, and add half a lemon (sliced) and the rosemary. Both steep in the water for about five minutes; flavoring the water. Reduce the boil to a simmer, unwrap the fish, and gently drop into the water. Poach until the tuna reaches your preferred doneness, for me that was about a minute and a half. Then remove the tuna to a cutting board to cool. The directions have you cutting the tuna before making the salad, but I prefer to make the salad and then cut the fish at the last minute.
- Make the salad: First rinse the beans to get any of the packing liquid off them. Then chop or halve the tomatoes, olives, artichokes and the parsley leaves. I put all those ingredients into a bowl. And in separate bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil salt and pepper together to make a dressing. While the directions have you mix everything together, I'd added the dressing a bit at a time, tasting as you go to make sure it's not overdressed.
The salad is then platted, the tuna sliced, and then laid over the salad. I decided to hit mine with a bit more salt and pepper (another drizzle of olive oil would be nice too), and then serve it up.
While I didn't really notice the tuna picked up any flavor from the lemon & rosemary in the poaching liquid, the fish did taste clean and fresh. I thought it did need a bit of finishing salt & pepper at the end.
I really like all the ingredients in the white bean salad, and each component added an important piece of flavor and/or texture. Rinse the beans really well, as mine still seemed to retain a bit of the packing liquid flavor. And they seemed a bit over cooked for me.
The bright flavors of the tomato, artichoke and olive really carried the dish and supported both the beans and the tuna.
It strikes me as a very Spring/Summer light dinner/lunch, ideally served with a glass of crisp white wine.
I'd happily get this one again.
If you're a fan if fish. If you're a fan of healthy eating. If you're a fan of simple cooking. You'll be a fan of this recipe.
It took very little time for me to put this one together, and I was happy with the flavors I got out of it. As i've said, I wish the beans, which were an important component, has a firmer texture, but they didn't ruin the dish - and I may have just gotten an overcooked batch.
I felt good about eating the recipe, as there was little fat, and only 350 calories per serving. That said, it's also a fairly modest portion, so big eaters are likely to leave the table hungry.
With that caveat, I hope you give this one a try. And if you do, please let me know how it goes.