Seared Tuna and Tapenade on Potato Canapés

Roasted potatoes make the perfect base for the tuna and tapenade. Toasted crostini may be substituted for the potatoes.

  • Yield: About 24 appetizers
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Ready In: 50 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Course: Appetizer

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3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4 large) 

3/4 cup pitted mixed olives (green, Kalamata, Nicoise or other)

1/4 cup cut-up oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3/4 pound absolutely fresh tuna steaks (3/4- to 1-inch thick)

Freshly ground black pepper


Heat oven to 400°F.  In large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper.  Slice potatoes into 1/2-inch thick slices; stir into oil mixture until coated. Place potatoes in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Bake 40 minutes, turning potatoes halfway through baking, or until tender and golden brown.

Meanwhile, in bowl of food processor, pulse olives, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, oregano, cayenne pepper and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil until finely chopped; set aside. (Cover and chill up to 1 day before serving.)

Heat vegetable oil in large heavy skillet over high heat. Pat tuna dry with paper towel. Sprinkle both sides generously with pepper. Sear tuna until browned on both sides but still pink inside, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Slice tuna into 24 (1/4-inch thick) slices. Place one slice on each potato round. Spoon a heaping teaspoon tapenade over each piece of tuna. Garnish with fresh oregano, if desired.  

Testing Notes: I used a half sheet aluminum baking pan and used half parchment, half without. I had no problems with the potatoes sticking to the pan, so this should work well on a nonstick-type pan as well. Potatoes don’t need to be hot for this appetizers, but the longer they sit, they become more like a potato salad-textured potato (dense). By slicing 1/2-inch thick, they hold their shape and can be served as finger food. I seared one piece of tuna (3/4 lb) in a cast iron skillet on my highest heat setting, which is usually hotter than I use for most food. I cooked it almost 3 minutes per side, but it could have been done less, so the 2 to 3 minute range is good. The tuna sat about 3 minutes before slicing, and I used a serrated knife. It sliced easily and held together. I used jarred Spanish/Queen green olives but took out the pimentos and kalamata olives. I was going to pick up olives in the deli, but they had just packed them all away. I think any type of deli olive, even with the stuffing, will work just fine. Very tasty! I wanted a glass of crisp white wine with it.