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Rare Almond-Crusted Ahi Tuna with Red-Grape Cilantro Salsa

YIELD: 10 servings

Red-Grape Cilantro Salsa

1½ lbs. seedless red California grapes, quartered
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 red onion, chopped
2 Tbsps. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
2 Tbsps. red-wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Cilantro Oil

½ cup cilantro
½ cup Italian parsley
2 cups canola oil

Ahi Tuna

10 (6 to 7 oz.) ahi tuna fillets
kosher salt, as needed
ground almonds, as needed
canola oil, as needed

1. For red-grape cilantro salsa: Toss all ingredients together and chill for 2 hours.

2. For cilantro oil: Blanch cilantro and parsley in heavily salted boiling water for 20 seconds, then shock in ice bath. Squeeze cilantro and parsley dry. Purée with oil in blender until smooth (about 2 minutes). Reserve.

3. For ahi tuna per portion: Season 1 ahi fillet with kosher salt. Press each side firmly into ground almonds (about 10 oz. for each fillet). In very hot sauté pan with 1 Tbsp. oil, sear fillet 1 minute on each side. Slice tuna and fan (5 to 6 slices) on plate. Top with red-grape cilantro salsa and drizzle plate with cilantro oil.

Recipe by Chef Mauro Bettini, Taos, N.M.

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