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Spiced Yellowfin Tuna with Butter Bean Salad

Michael Smith / TODAY

Chef notes

It's all about the Tuscan spices in this fresh tuna recipe. The coriander, fennel seed and Herbs de Provence enhance the fresh ocean flavor of the fish.

Technique tip: Use a serrated knife to cut the tuna. It will give you clean, even slices without tearing the flesh of the fish.

Special equipment: Spice grinder.


Spice rub
  • 1 cup coriander seed
  • 1 cup fennel seed
  • 1 cup black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup Herbs de Provence
  • 1/2 cup smoked paprika
  • cups sugar
Lemon dressing (makes about 2 cups)
  • ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Four 4-ounce tuna loins
  • 1 cup tuna spice rub (recipe above)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound mixed baby greens
  • 2 cups butter beans, boiled
  • 1/2 pound string beans, blanched
  • 2 pints heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 5 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup lemon dressing (recipe above)
  • Salt and pepper
To serve
  • 1 cup cannellini beans, puréed


    For the spice rub:

    In a spice grinder, add all ingredients and grind on high until fine. Set aside.

    For the lemon dressing:

    In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice, mustard and thyme. Slowly whisk in the oils. Then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.

    For the tuna:

    In medium bowl, add the tuna spice rub and tuna loins; toss, making sure spices cover the tuna completely on all sides.

    Heat olive oil in medium sauté pan and when hot, add the tuna and sear on all sides until medium rare. Remove to a plate and let rest for a few minutes. Slice and set aside.

    For the salad:

    In a large bowl, combine the baby greens, butter beans, string beans, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber and radishes. Toss with lemon dressing and season with salt and pepper.

    To serve:

    Spread the cannellini bean purée on each plate, add the baby green salad and top with sliced tuna loin.