Seared Tuna with Ratatouille and Fried Egg

Serves 4


This is one of my favorite dishes to make during the summer months when the garden is bursting at the seams with zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, and basil. The aroma of olive oil mingling with these ingredients brings me back to my younger years in Provence, France.


Cooking Note

When tuna is not available or you prefer a different fish, salmon or halibut work well, too.

  • 1 hour, 22 minutes total time
  • 55 minutes active time
  • Difficulty-Medium


  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 ½ medium onions
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 small Japanese eggplant
  • 1 jalapeño chile
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 4 large Roma tomatoes
  • 1 bunch basil
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • Four 4-to 5-ounce tuna steaks, preferably 1-inch thick
  • 4 large eggs
  • Fleur de sel

To Prep the Vegetables and Herbs

  1. Seed the pepper and cut into ¾-inch dice. You will need 1 1/3 cups.

  2. Cut the onion into ¾- inch dice. You will need 2 cups.

  3. Cut the zucchini into ¾-inch dice. You will need a scant cup.

  4. Cut the eggplant into ¾- inch dice. You will need 1 2/3 cups.

  5. Thinly slice the jalapeño. You will need ¼ cup.

  6. Thinly slice the garlic. You will need ¼ cup.

  7. Remove the core from the tomatoes and cut into ¾-inch dice. You will need 2 ½ cups.

  8. Pick the basil leaves. Reserve 16 to 20 leaves for garnish (smaller leaves kept whole and larger ones torn in half). There should be about ½ cup of basil leaves (18 grams) for the ratatouille.

To Make the Ratatouille

  1. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil, followed by the zucchini and eggplant. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini and eggplant are colored and cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the bell pepper, onions, 2 teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and beginning to take on a bit of color, about 15 minutes.

  3. Stir in the jalapenos and garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the zucchini and eggplant and stir to combine. Then stir in the tomatoes and basil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Pour in the water, stir, and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

  4. Add the vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Sauté the Tuna and Finish the Dish

  1. Pat the tuna steaks dry and season with kosher salt and black pepper.  

  2. Line a large plate or small tray with paper towels.

  3. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat and add 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil.  Put the tuna in the pan and sear until golden brown on the first side, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and sear for about 30 seconds for medium rare. Remove to the paper towel lined plate.  

  4. Turn the heat to low and add a small film of olive oil to the pan and crack the eggs into the pan. Cover and let the eggs cook through; the whites should be solid and brown on the edges when done, 3 to 4 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, put a tuna steak on each plate and divide the ratatouille evenly over each. Drizzle with olive oil and place an egg on top of each. Garnish with the basil leaves and  season with fleur de sel and black pepper.