It took me about three years to get a meeting with Eric Ripert to talk to him about spices. What was supposed to be a quick introduction turned into an hour-long conversation, and our ongoing relationship has been one of my most rewarding. Eric and his team constantly challenge me to find the best ingredients possible. Here, Eric shows off his seafood skills by creating a very simple dish that tastes complex and layered thanks to the smoked paprika and seafood essence in the Salvador N.19 spice blend.
Salvador N19 – Recipe by Eric Ripert, from “The Art of Blending” by Lior Lev Sercarz
Makes 4 servings
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 3 teaspoons Salvador N19 spice blend
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
two 8-ounce sushi-grade tuna steaks, about 1 inch thick
4 ounces baby arugula
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut lengthwise into thin strips
1. In a small saucepan set over low heat, warm 1/2 cup of the olive oil with 1 tablespoon of the Salvador spice blend. Pour the oil into a bowl and let cool to room temperature, then whisk in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Season the tuna steaks with salt and pepper and the remaining Salvador. In a skillet (preferably cast iron), heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat. Add the tuna and quickly sear until golden brown on both sides, about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side (don’t overcook; the tuna should be very rare). Transfer to a plate.
3. To serve, cut the tuna into 1/2-inch slices and divide among four plates, fanning the slices. Gently toss the arugula and the red pepper strips with half of the vinaigrette and place the salad next to the tuns. Drizzle some of the remaining vinaigrette over the salad and the tuns and serve immediately.