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Issue Date: Summer 2006

Seared Tuna With Roasted Onions, Cucumber Noodles and Smoky Tomato Fondue

Michael Herschman

(Serves 8)

This dish is assembled from four separate recipes. Each also works on its own and can be used in a variety of other ways: as a side dish, condiment or pasta sauce.

Recipes were created by Michael Herschman, executive chef and general manager at Vivo. David Crighton, Vivo’s manager, offers the wine pairings. 347 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, (216) 621-4678


16 ripe Roma tomatoes, halved, seeds removed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 tablespoon smoked salt

1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, divided use

1/2 cup thinly sliced garlic

1 medium white onion, finely diced

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup Marcona almonds, coarsely chopped

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1.    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange tomatoes, cut side up, on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with smoked salt. Roast for 30 minutes until soft. Let cool.

2.    Heat remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes until soft. Add remaining ingredients including tomatoes and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Puree in a blender or food processor. Taste and adjust seasonings.


1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar

2 seedless cucumbers 

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

1.    Gently heat vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool.

2.    Slice cucumbers into noodlelike strands using the peel and outer flesh. (Save the remaining flesh for another use.) Drizzle with olive oil and toss with vinegar mixture to coat. Season with salt and pepper. 


2 large red onions, peeled, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon white balsamic

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss onion with olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes until soft and translucent. Sprinkle with vinegar and roast for an additional 4 minutes.


Four 6-ounce sashimi-grade, center-cut yellowfin tuna steaks (2 inches thick)

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup Marcona almonds

Blot the surfaces and sides of the fish dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. Heat sauté pan over high heat. Add a few drops of olive oil and heat to near smoking. Sear the edges of the tuna. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.


Generously ladle fondue onto a platter. Slice prepared tuna across the grain in thin pieces, about 1/4 inch thick. Arrange tuna, cucumber noodles, onions and the Marcona almonds on the plate and serve.


“Tuna’s delicate profile calls for a premium Junmai-style sake like the one from the Hakushika Yamadamishiki brewery. It has a fresh, fruity flavor and a clean finish.”

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