Despite having only nine ingredients, this dish presents a wide variety of flavors, textures and colors with crisped cubes of ōtoro, tender kabocha gnocchi and a creamy grilled lemon emulsion that brings the two components together. The salt and rendered fat from the ōtoro forms a crisp golden brown shell on the outside of each cube, while the medium rare center melts like butter on your tongue. The kabocha gnocchi are sweet, tender and brimming with umami from a generous dose of pecorino romano in the dough. All this richness is kept in check by the bracingly tart and mildly bitter grilled lemon emulsion.
- Cut the lemon in half and grill, cut-side down until the there are grill marks on the cut surface of the lemon. Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool.
- Remove the seeds and then peel the kabocha so that there is no green skin remaining. Cut into 1/2-inch thick pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave at 800 watts for 5 minutes. Let it cool enough to handle and then pass through a food mill or potato ricer. You should have 200 grams of pumpkin purée.
- Add the pecorino romano and 50 grams of flour and knead together until it forms a soft dough that's not too sticky, adding more flour if you need to. The more flour you add the tougher your gnocchi will be so go with as little flour as possible.
- Split the dough in half and then lightly flour a work surface and roll each piece out into a 3/4-inch thick rope. Cut the dough into bite-size pieces and dust lightly with flour.
- Using either either a gnocchi board, sushi-mat or other textured flat surface, place a piece of gnocchi on the surface and use your thumb in a pushing motion to curl the gnocchi across the surface. The curved surface should take on the texture of the surface you rolled it on and the indentation your thumb left should be on the inside of the curl.
- Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water one at a time until some of the gnocchi starts to float. Stop adding gnocchi and use a slotted spoon to transfer the gnocchi floating on the surface to a bowl and toss with a little olive oil to keep them from sticking together. Repeat until all the gnocchi has been boiled.
- To make the lemon emulsion, squeeze the grilled lemons through a strainer to remove the pulp and seeds. In a glass 2 cup measuring cup, microwave the butter until melted and hot (but not boiling).
- Add the egg yolk and use an immersion blender to emulsify the mixture.
- Add 2 tablespoons of boiling water with the blender running and then add 1/2 tablespoon of the grilled lemon juice and salt.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet until very hot.
- Sprinkle every side of the tuna cubes with salt and add to the hot skillet. Brown on one side, and then roll another to the next side, repeating until all 6 sides have been browned.
- Transfer the ōtoro to a plate and then add the gnocchi to the hot skillet. Let the gnocchi fry on one side until browned and then flip and fry the other side.
- To plate, place 2 cubes of ōtoro onto each plate and split the gnocchi between the plates. Drizzle with the grilled lemon emulsion and garnish with chervil.
Category : Entree
Preparation time :
Cooking time :
- 1 lemon
- 250 grams kabocha pumpkin
- 20 grams pecorino romano, grated
- 50-60 grams flour
- 130 grams ōtoro, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- chervil for garnish