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Tuna Confit with Warm Bean Salad

Howard L. Puckett
Yield Makes 6 servings


  • 1 pound ahi tuna, cut into chunks
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 2 dried red arbol chile peppers*
  • 3 1/4 cups olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans chickpeas, undrained
  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup roasted red bell pepper strips
  • 1/4 cup pimiento-stuffed olives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

How to Make It

  1. Place fish in an 8- x 8-inch baking dish; rub with 2 teaspoons salt, garlic, thyme, and fennel. Arrange peppercorns and chile peppers in dish. Pour 1/4 cup oil over fish mixture. Cover and chill 8 hours.

  2. Add just enough remaining olive oil to cover fish (about 3 cups).

  3. Bake at 200° 1 hour and 15 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. Cool; remove fish from pan, reserving oil mixture.

  4. Heat 2 tablespoons reserved oil mixture in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook 15 minutes or until golden, stirring often.

  5. Drain chickpeas, reserving 1/3 cup liquid. Add chickpeas, spinach, reserved chickpea liquid, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to onion mixture. Cook onion mixture 7 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated and spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally. Serve fish over spinach mixture. Top each serving evenly with red bell pepper strips, olives, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon reserved oil mixture.

  6. *If you can't find red arbol chile peppers, you can substitute cayenne or serrano peppers.