INGREDIENTS:8 fresh Florida tomatoes (about 6 oz. each), fully ripened, medium-sized
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cups olive oil, divided
6 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 cups orange juice
2 cups balsamic vinegar
1 pound fresh tuna loin, cut in 1-inch thick slices
4 sheets nori seaweed (each 7x8 inches)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup cornmeal
4 cups mixed baby greens DIRECTIONS:Blanch, peel and hollow out tomatoes. In a large glass or stainless pan, place tomatoes in a single layer. Lightly sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper. In a small saucepan, over high heat, bring to 180°F 1 cup of the oil, garlic and thyme. Pour over tomatoes and cover; let stand 2 hours, turning occasionally. Remove tomatoes; strain seasoned oil.
To make orange balsamic syrup: In saucepan bring orange juice and balsamic vinegar to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture is reduced to 1 1/3 cups, about 30 minutes; reserve. Cut tuna steaks in strips 1 inch wide. Place 1 or 2 strips on the shorter edge of a nori sheet, piecing as necessary; roll tightly. Repeat to form 4 rolls. Dip nori-tuna rolls in egg wash and coat lightly in cornmeal, shaking off excess; repeat. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 cup oil; sear on all sides, about 1 minute, leaving tuna rare in center. Remove and slice each roll diagonally in six pieces.
To assemble: Drizzle serving plates with orange balsamic syrup. Place a drained tomato in center of each plate. Fill with ½ cup baby greens and arrange 3 tuna slices around tomato; repeat. Drizzle a small amount of strained seasoned oil over lettuce; reserve remaining oil for other uses. NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: SERVINGS:8 appetizer portions From:Chef Paul Wade, 1220 at The Tides Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida PHOTO CREDIT:Photo Credit: FLORIDA TOMATO COMMITTEE