Seared Ahi with Depuy Lentils and Arugula

Serves 4

Ahi is a lean, full/well textured/‘meaty’ and full flavored fish that pairs well with red wine.
I created this recipe to pair with the 2003 Lambert Bridge Sonoma County Merlot.
The earthy flavor of the Depuy lentils add depth and balance to the dish.
Note: because bay leaves vary in size, I find it more accurate to list this ingredient by length.

Lentils

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons leeks, white only, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized carrot, small dice (1/2 cup diced)
  • 2 inches bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup Merlot
  • 3/4 cup Dupuy lentils
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, place olive oil, chopped leeks and a pinch of salt. Cover and let cook for 2 minutes, until the leeks are cooked but not brown. Remove cover, add carrots and bay leaves, cover again and sweat the vegetables for 4-5 minutes. Add the merlot, bring to a boil, and add the lentils, thyme, chicken broth and water. Simmer over low heat, taste, and add salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for approximately 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Let the lentils rest until needed. There should be some broth not yet absorbed by the lentils. This broth will become the “sauce” for this dish. If the lentils sit long enough to absorb the broth, add a bit of warm water just before serving, and re-heat the lentils.

Fried Leeks

  • 1/2 cup leeks, white only, cut into 2”long thin strips (julienne)
  • 1 tablespoon flour, all-purpose
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • sea salt, to taste

Rinse leeks with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel, leaving them slightly damp. Place the leeks in a small bowl, add the flour and toss to coat.
Place a small sauté pan over medium heat and add the canola oil. When the oil is hot (1-2 minutes), add the flour-coated leeks and pan-fry for 2-3 minutes until they are crisp and slightly golden. Remove leeks from the oil, and place on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Sprinkle the leeks with a pinch of salt and toss. Keep crisp in an airtight container or ziplock bag to use later as garnish.

  • Merlot Drizzle
  • 1/2 cup Merlot
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

In a small sauté pan, over medium-high heat, add _ cup merlot and boil until it has reduced to 1 tablespoon. Pour the reduction into a small bowl or dressing container. Add the olive oil and whisk (or shake) until combined and slightly thickened.

Ahi

  • 1 pound ahi fillet, 1” thick center cut, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups baby arugula

In a medium sauté pan, over medium heat, place canola oil and pre-heat for 1 minute. Season the fish on both sides with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place gently into the sauté pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. I like to serve ahi very rare. If you prefer to cook it rare to medium-rare, add 2 minutes to each side.

To Serve
Reheat the lentils. Toss the arugula with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a touch of coarse sea salt. Place a mound of arugula on the center of a warm plate. Add the fresh chopped parsley to the lentils and place a healthy serving just to the side of the arugula. Place the seared ahi atop the lentils and arugula and drizzle with the merlot dressing. Sprinkle with a pinch of coarse sea salt. This dish is delicious with whole roasted baby carrots.

Enjoy with a glass of Lambert Bridge Sonoma County Merlot.

Leave a Reply