2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts only, cut in half lengthwise, cleaned, and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds fennel, trimmed, quartered, cored and cut across the grain into thin slices
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 pounds albacore tuna steaks
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the leek and cook, stirring, until leeks are limp, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the mixture is fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the fennel and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook slowly for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the lemon juice, taste and adjust seasonings. The mixture should be very soft.
2. Meanwhile, season the albacore steaks with salt and pepper and heat the remaining olive oil in another pan over medium-high heat. Sear the albacore steaks for 30 seconds on each side. Place on top of the fennel. Cover the pan, turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.
3. Sprinkle on the parsley and serve, laying the fish on top of the fennel, with lemon wedges on the side.
Yield: 4 servings.
Advance preparation: You can cook the fennel up to 2 days ahead and refrigerate. Bring back to a simmer in the skillet, add the albacore fillets and proceed with the recipe.
Nutritional information per serving: 439 calories; 4 grams saturated fat; 4 grams polyunsaturated fat; 10 grams monounsaturated fat; 65 milligrams cholesterol; 20 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams dietary fiber; 210 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 46 grams protein