Recipes Main Courses Seafood Braised Tuna with Olive Relish and Spinach

Braised Tuna with Olive Relish and Spinach

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 4

Tuna’s mild flavor soaks up braising liquids well, such as this combo of broth, olive oil and wine. A colorful and piquant olive relish comes together quickly in a food processor, and the orange zest sets it apart from store-bought tapenades. This recipe makes more relish than you need so you’ll have leftovers for other meals.


  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) vegetable broth
  • 5 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./ 80 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) dry white wine
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tuna fillets, each about 6 oz. (185 g)
  • 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) pitted green olives
  • 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • Grated zest from 1 orange
  • 4 cups (4 oz./125 g) baby spinach


In a large sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid, stir together the broth, 4 Tbs. (2 fl. oz./60 ml) of the oil, the wine, onion, bay leaves, 1/2 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes to blend the flavors.

Add the tuna to the pan, re-cover and braise for 15 to 20 minutes. The tuna should be firm and opaque throughout.

In a food processor, combine the olives, garlic, the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, the vinegar and orange zest. Pulse until the mixture forms a chunky paste.

In a bowl, drizzle the spinach with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat evenly. Divide the spinach among individual plates, and then divide the tuna among the plates, arranging it next to or on top of the spinach. Top each tuna portion with a spoonful of the olive relish and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cook Good Food (Weldon Owen, 2014)