Thon Provençale

Fresh Red Tuna Cooked with Vegetables and White Wine

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For



Appears in

The Cuisine of the Sun

By Mireille Johnston

Published 1990

  • About

In this hearty dish the tuna is first marinated in vinegar, then simmered with wine and vegetables until it has absorbed all their flavor. Tuna is available only from early summer to early fall, but you can substitute swordfish or halibut for this recipe. Serve with Riz aux Herbes or, if you want some green vegetables with it, with Épinards aux Pignons or Courgettes Râpées.


  • 1 3-pound piece fresh red tuna, cut inches thick and skinned
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, quartered, or cup canned, drained
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • ¾ cup dry white wine (add more if necessary)
  • ½ cup finely chopped Italian parsley or basil


Marinate the fish in the vinegar for 2 hours, adding enough cold water to cover it.

Put the olive oil in a large shallow baking dish. Add the garlic, onions, carrots, and tomatoes and lay the tuna on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and arrange the bay leaves and lemon slices on top of the fish. Add the wine.

Place the baking dish over two burners on top of the stove and simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 40 minutes (30 minutes for swordfish and halibut) or in a 350° oven for 40 minutes.

Turn the slices of fish over with two spatulas. Cover and simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes (swordfish and halibut require less time, so start checking after the first 10 minutes). If the tuna absorbs all the liquid before the end of the cooking time, add more wine at any point to keep it from going dry.

Remove the bay leaves and lemon slices. Purée the vegetables through a Mouli food mill. Place the fish on a warm serving platter and spread the vegetable purée over it. Sprinkle with parsley or basil and serve.