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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Another Boca Bacchanal Countdown Perfect Pairing: Sesame-Seared Tuna Salad & Masi Masianco

Today's Boca Bacchanal Countdown pairing involves another fabulous dish from "Savor the Moment" paired with an Italian white wine from Masi, a featured Boca Bacchanal Vintner. The dish, originally submitted by Max's Grille in Boca Raton, is a delicious, Asian-inspired Sesame-Seared Tuna Salad (pg. 132) that I paired with a 2008 Masi Masianco.

I mentioned the Masi Masianco in a previous post, paired with Roasted Sea Bass in Prosciutto (pg. 178) - a marvelous match! While I usually prefer a Pinot Noir with seared tuna, this recipe sounded like it needed a white wine. Masi, owned by the Boscaini family for six generations, is a specialized producer of premium wines from the Venetian region of Italy. The winery specializes in the production of Amarones and Reciotos, using the historic technique of "appassimento" (drying of the grapes), and has gained worldwide reputation for being the only producer making seven different types. Masi markets successful wines such as Campofiorin, its special selection Brolo di Campofiorin, Valpolicella dell'Anniversario Serego Alighieri and Passo Doble, produced in Argentina.

The Masianco is a blend of 75% Pinot Grigio and 25% Verduzzo and has a lovely almost citrine color and lush aromas of citrus and pear - definitely not your typical Pinot Grigio! Paired with the Sesame-Seared Tuna, it highlighted the nuttiness of the toasted sesame seeds, and with its notes of lemon cream and citrus, really made the ginger flavors of the dish "pop." The tuna also made for a beautiful presentation - reminding me of a Lilly Pulitzer ad with all the fabulous pink and green. I used fresh, rosy-hued, sushi grade tuna purchased from Captain Clay's Fish Market in Delray Beach. I chose to cook 2 8-ounce tuna steaks and cut each in half for our salads...personal preference. I am also happy to report that it tastes as good as it looks! This was a very successful pairing, one I definitely look forward to repeating. This delicious duo would be perfect for a Spring luncheon or the next time you're simply in the mood for tuna.

Sesame-Seared Tuna Salad
Oriental Vinaigrette
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced gingerroot
1 teaspoon prepared wasabi
1 tablespoon catsup
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste

8 (2-ounce) pieces tuna
1/2 cup black and white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cups mesclun or mixed greens
1/2 cup julienned carrot
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
4 teaspoons wasabi
4 teaspoons pickled gingerroot
For the vinaigrette, combine the vinegar, garlic, gingerroot, wasabi, catsup, soy sauce and lemon juice in the food processor container and process for 30 seconds. Add the vegetable oil and sesame oil gradually, processing constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For the salad, coat the tuna with the sesame seeds. Heat the oil in a saute pan just until it begins to smoke and add the tuna. Sear for 10 seconds on each side.
Combine the mesclun with the carrot in a bowl. Add half of the vinaigrette and toss to coat well, reserving remaining vinaigrette for another use. Spoon into the centers of 4 serving plates. Arrange the cucumbers around the greens. Slice the tuna into halves and arrange around the greens. Serve with the wasabi and gingerroot. Serves four.

For the Boca Bacchanal Vintner Dinners this Friday, the wines of Masi, represented by Tony Apostolakos, will be paired with the cuisine of Donna and Giovanni Scala's Bistro Don Giovanni located in California's beautiful Napa Valley. Steve and I had the opportunity to dine there a few years ago and the food and ambiance were just fabulous! With a focus on Italian cuisine, this will no doubt be another perfect pairing - Cheers!

**Wines for this blog kindly provided by Republic National Distributing Company, a presenting partner of the 2010 Boca Bacchanal.


  1. The tuna looks delicious and a crisp white wine too! It's only 9:30 in the morning but I'm thinking about dinner already thanks to this wine/tuna combo...

  2. looks amazing five star cooking let me know if you would ever like to do a guest post rebecca
    rebeccasubbiah at yahoo dot com

  3. Stephanie,
    This is one gorgeous presentation!

  4. Oh Yum this looks so delicious!

  5. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog & for entering the Mario Badescu skincare giveaway. What an amazing blog you have! I'm going to follow along for sure. It all looks so delish & inspiring.

    Have a nice day :)

  6. You know that last steak post I went out and bought steak with shrooms, now I have to go buy tuna, girl you are killing me, and the Masi, we love it!

  7. The sesame tuna salad is outstanding and sounds excellent paired with Masi!

  8. That tuna looks absolutely amazing, what beautiful colour! You are so clever daaaaaahling!
    *kisses* HH

  9. What a gorgeous tuna salad. Perfectly cooked also. I'm not familiar with Masi. I'll have to look into it because it sounds fabulous.

  10. I love sesame seared tuna. After having it, I d have to say I like it better than almost any seafood I have eaten. Looks so good sitting there on that plate.

  11. Definitely a gorgeous presentation of a delicious meal! Excellent!

  12. Oooh that sesame seared tuna looks brilliant and super healthy as well - a really summery dish.

  13. That seared tuna looks wonderful and I love the presentation. Very pretty.


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