Have Last-Minute Fish-Loving
Guests Dropping By?
It's the ideal time of year for a relaxed get-together,
and appreciating the here and now.
In the Bay Area, where "eating local" means anything from assembling backyard salads to you-pick-ing tonight's dessert,
Pacific Albacore is on the list of what is seasonal, nutritious,
utterly delicious, and on the menu of sustainable choices.
Albacore Tuna are now migrating along the upwellings of colder, more nutrient-dense waters off the Pacific Coast until
late summer, and they're booking it. One of the fastest fish on
the planet, they can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour,
and these voracious eaters are plump, tasty, and part of a
healthy fishery. Schools that are located by trolling or keen observation, are then fished individually with hook and pole, avoiding habitat destruction,
by-catch, and over-fishing.
These tuna are not only flavorful, they're loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and when under 25 pounds, are low in mercury. Albacore is rich and mild, with a pleasant flavor and sumptuous mouth-feel; a little goes a long way.
Try grilling albacore, or better yet, preparing and preserving a confit. Below is a recipe for a crudo of raw albacore that tastes like a slice of summer flirting with the marine layer – how here and now.
serves six or more
- 1 lb local albacore cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup olives, chopped
- 2-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- the zest of 1/2 of a lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Calabrian Chili, stems removed, chopped with seeds
- 1 tablespoon shallot, diced
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- salt to taste
Macerate the shallots in the vinegar for at least two hours, then drain off the vinegar.
Combine the shallots, olives, chives, lemon zest, chopped chilies, and olive oil. Fold the combined salsa-like dressing into the cubed albacore and chill for several hours, allowing the flavors to marry. Salt to taste, and serve cool on crispy crackers or perhaps slices of cucumber.