A platter of seared tuna bites on cucumber rounds with olive tapenade on top and manzanilla olives from spain on the side.

Seared Tuna with Spanish Manzanilla Tapenade

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 pieces 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: Spanish


This pan seared tuna is topped with a tapenade made with Spanish Manzanilla olives and served on a crunchy cucumber slice. It’s a fancy looking but easy to make (and healthy!) appetizer recipe!




  • 10 Spanish manzanilla olives, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon capers, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 3 basil leaves, minced

Seared Tuna Bites

  • 160 grams (5.5 ounces) sushi-grade, Pacific Albacore tuna steak
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 12 cucumber slices
  • Small basil leaves and black pepper, to garnish


  1. To make the tapenade, mix the Spanish manzanilla olives, capers, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, thyme, anchovies, and minced basil in a small bowl.
  2. Place a cast iron pan over high heat and let it heat until VERY hot.
  3. While the pan is heating, season both sides of the tuna with pepper and salt. Just before adding the tuna to the pan, pour the oil into the center of the pan and place the tuna on top. Sear for 1 1 /2 minutes then flip over and sear for 1 1/2 minutes more. Remove from the pan, let cool slightly, then slice into 12 pieces.
  4. Place one piece of tuna on top of each cucumber slice, top with some tapenade, a little basil leaf, and some black pepper.


This seared tuna can be assembled a few hours in advance and kept in your fridge until you are ready to serve it.