Poached Albacore Tuna with Chartreuse Lettuce Sauce

Courtesy of Courtney Sproule, din din Catering, Portland, OR

Recipe: Poached Albacore Tuna with Chartreuse Lettuce Sauce

Summary: “I was introduced to this sauce by chef Robert Reynolds at his cooking school, The Chef Studio (in Portland, Oregon),” remembers Courtney Sproule. “The crunch of the lettuce and the complexity of the herbaceous Chartreuse was an unexpected treat.” Sproule says any lettuce you find at the farmers market will work (although avoid aggressively flavored greens, such as mustards). Red lettuces are okay, but mostly green colors will result in a more brilliant sauce.


  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 medium heads of lettuce, cored, leaves separated, washed, and dried well
  • 1 Tablespoon + 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small yellow onions, small diced
  • 1/2 cup canned, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon picked fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons Green Chartreuse
  • 4 fillets of albacore tuna, each weighing about 6 ounces
  • 1 quart canola oil, for poaching
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon green onions, thinly sliced


  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add 1 Tablespoon of salt.
  2. Blanch lettuce leaves until just limp, about 30 seconds.
  3. Remove to an ice bath. Gently squeeze out water and let dry in a colander or over towels.
  4. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat in a pan, add onion and a pinch of salt.
  5. Lower the heat, cover, and cook gently, making sure not to brown the onion, for 10-15 minutes. Once the onion is soft and sweet, remove the lid.
  6. Add tomato, thyme, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt and cook at a low simmer until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Add wine and stock and once again, cook at a low simmer until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
  8. Remove mixture and place into a food processor.
  9. Add lettuce and lemon zest.
  10. Pulse, adding remaining olive oil and Chartreuse, to achieve a texture between pesto and relish.
  11. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Set aside.
  12. Fill a straight edge sauté pan with olive oil and heat it to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  13. Liberally season the portioned pieces of albacore with salt and pepper and gently slip into the oil.
  14. After about 4 minutes, check the tuna and pull them out as soon as they become fully opaque on both sides. The oil should never reach a simmer—it’s very gentle cooking.
  15. Remove tuna and serve immediately covered with sauce.

Number of servings (yield): 4

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