Tuna Confit with Lemon, Rosemary & Garlic Pressure Cooked

Tuna Confit with Lemon, Rosemary, & Garlic Pressure Cooked

Adapted from Dinner in an Instant by Melissa Clark

The word confit is derived from the French verb “confire” which means preserve.  As a cooking process, it means a food that is cooked in oil for savory foods (or sugar water for fruits) at a temperature lower than if it were deep-fried.  Foods cooked this way can be preserved for longer periods often without refrigeration if salted.  Meats are more tender and flavorful as a result of this method of preparation.

Cooking tuna with the confit method is simple in a pressure cooker. The fish poaches in flavorful olive oil resulting in velvety, delicious fish that can be served on the rare side as an entree, or slightly more well done for tuna salads, tonnato, or a traditional Niçoise salad. You can store the cooked tuna covered in the fridge in the poaching oil for at least a week.  Save the oil after the tuna is eaten as it can be used on pasta, roasted vegetables, or dipped in bread.  Delicious!


  • 2 tablespoons + 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary or sage leaves
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed, or 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 pounds tuna steaks (3 8-ounce pieces, for example)
  • Coarse sea salt, for serving
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Crusty bread, for serving


Combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, rosemary, lemon zest, garlic, salt, pepper, and fennel seeds in a medium bowl. Add the tuna, toss to combine, cover, and place in the fridge to marinate for one hour or up to 24 hours.

Put one cup of water in the pressure cooker and place the steamer rack inside. Transfer the tuna to a 1-quart ceramic or glass dish (don’t use metal) allowing for space between the pieces. Add olive oil to cover the pieces (add more than one cup oil if needed), cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil, and place on the steamer rack. Cook on low pressure for 5 minutes for a rare center, or 6 to 7 minutes to cook through. Release the pressure manually, remove the lid, and let it cool in the pot for 20 minutes.

Take the dish out of the pressure cooker and place it on a wire rack. Remove the foil and use a slotted spoon to transfer the tuna to a serving platter. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and serve with lemon wedges and the crusty bread. Enjoy…and remember to save the oil!

If you’d like support and guidance on how to make your eating easy, healthy, and delicious, I invite you to reach out via email at nina@drninamd.com or you can book a complimentary session to discuss it all with me.  I look forward to connecting with you!

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