Spuma di Tonno

Fresh Tuna Pâté

This recipe is deliciously simple and a wonderful hors d’oeuvre to serve with drinks. Most Italians would use canned light tuna packed in virgin olive oil. However we prefer to make this pâté with grilled or broiled fresh tuna, which is easily available to us from Hawaii, because we like the slightly smoky flavor grilling gives to the fish. We grill it lightly over low heat so that it doesn’t develop any hard crust, but you could sauté the tuna gently in butter and get the same texture, although the smokiness would be lost. Whatever technique you decide to use, just get a beautiful piece of tuna and don’t overcook it. If it is too hard and dry, it will not make a smooth puree. Cool the fish before making the pâté.


  • ½ pound cooked fresh tuna fillet, preferably yellowfin
  • ½ cup (or as needed) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons (or to taste) fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Capers for garnish, rinsed


Puree the tuna and butter in the food processor. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. If the fish seems excessively “fishy”, add more butter to taste. Process just until blended. Spread on crackers or toast and sprinkle with capers.