Tuna Carpaccio with Arugula Salad and Caper Vinaigrette

tunacarpacioTuna Carpaccio – our first course on our ‘Feast of the Seven Fishes’  menu for Christmas Eve 2008.  I have always shied away from serving carpaccio, either meat or fish, at home but my brother, Joe, wanted to give this a try for our Christmas Eve feast – and I am glad we did! This is super easy to prepare and is both delicious and impressive for a dinner party.  The creaminess of the tuna mingled beautifully with the spicy bite of the arugula.  The arugula was fresh picked from my brother’s garden – a pleasant side effect of being in California for Christmas! (The arugula is a tad out-of-focus for this shot – a pleasant side effect of too much prosecco on Christmas Eve :o)!)

Tuna Carpaccio with Arugula and Caper Vinaigrette

For vinaigrette:

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon small capers


Freshly ground pepper

For tuna:

1 pound sushi-grade tuna

For garnish:

Extra virgin olive oil

Fresh lemon juice

1 medium shallot, diced fine


Freshly ground pepper

3 cups loosely packed arugula



Make vinaigrette: 

-Whisk red wine vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil and capers. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.

 Prepare tuna:

-Using a very, very sharp knife, slice the tuna into very thin tuna steaks. You can freeze tuna for a few minutes prior to make it easier to slice.  

-Lay a piece of plastic wrap out. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil to keep the tuna from sticking. Place one tuna steak on the plastic and drizzle top with a tiny bit of olive oil. Lay another piece of plastic wrap on top of tuna.

-Using a kitchen mallet or rolling pin, gently pound the tuna to paper thin thickness. Try to make the tuna a consistent thickness throughout.

-Repeat with remaining tuna slices. Refrigerate.


-In a medium bowl, mix the arugula with the vinaigrette.  Adjust seasonings, if necessary.

-Remove tuna from plastic wrap and place on chilled plates.  Drizzle tuna with a tad of extra virgin olive oil. Spinkle with lemon juice, minced shallots, salt and pepper. Place mound of arugula atop each piece.

Serve and enjoy!!

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