Albacore Roast with Ratatouille

Albacore Roast with Ratatouille
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time:

    2h 45m
  • Total Time:

    3h 15m
  • Servings:



A tuna-tailored rub and ratatouille lift a modest albacore roast to superstar status in this summer dish. You can find albacore loins both fresh and frozen – either type produces excellent results in this recipe. If you're using a frozen loin, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator.


  • 1 albacore tuna loin, about 1 lb.
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. demerara sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. dried dill weed
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 2 red onions, sliced ½” thick
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 Asian eggplants, cut into ½" pieces
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 4 large beefsteak tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 can San Marzano tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 bulb fennel, sliced thin
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 4 sprigs thyme, chopped
  • ½ cup basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt


  1. Toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan over low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Whisk together the fennel seeds, sugar, paprika, dill weed, zest, salt, pepper and olive oil.
  2. Pat the albacore loin dry with paper towels. Coat the albacore liberally with the paste and wrap it snugly in plastic wrap.
  3. Let the albacore cure for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. After curing, unwrap the loin and let it sit at room temperature.
  4. Heat the oven to 400° F. Sauté the onions and garlic in a large sauté pan until browned, about 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer the garlic and onions to a bowl. Heat a little more olive oil in the pan.
  6. Add the eggplant and zucchini to the pan and sauté them until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the eggplant and zucchini to the bowl.
  7. Bring the fresh tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes and the fennel to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Add them to the bowl. Mix the ratatouille with the balsamic vinegar, thyme, basil and salt.
  8. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan on the stove over medium-high heat. If you're using the same pan, clean it first.
  9. Sear the albacore on all sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes total. Transfer the albacore to a large oven-safe dish.
  10. Spoon the ratatouille around the albacore loin. Don't pile it more than ½" up the sides of the loin. You can cook the tuna and ratatouille in separate dishes if necessary, but serve them in the same dish.
  11. Roast the tuna and ratatouille until the tuna reaches 145° F in the center, about 10 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice over the tuna and serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers.
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