Appetizing Tuscan Tuna Salad
|Ripe plum tomatoes||2|
|Fresh thyme sprigs||4|
|Garlic||2 Clove (10 gm), peeled and lightly crushed|
|Red wine vinegar||3 Teaspoon (Good Quality)|
|Ciabatta bread slices||2 , crusts removed|
|Butter||20 Gram (Small Knob Of)|
|Black olives||8 , drained (Packed In Olive Oil)|
|Marinated anchovies||5 , drained|
|Miniature capers||1 Tablespoon, drained|
|Extra virgin olive oil||1 1⁄2 Tablespoon|
|Basil leaves||12 Small|
|Sea salt||To Taste (Fine)|
|Freshly ground black pepper||To Taste|
|Black peppercorns||1 Tablespoon|
|Fennel seeds||1 Tablespoon|
|Coriander seeds||1 Tablespoon|
|Tuna loin||200 Gram (Very Fresh)|
|Mild olive oil||2 Teaspoon|
Use a cooks blow torch to carefully blacken and blister the pepper skins See tip 3 do this over a metal roasting tin to protect the kitchen surface and turn using tongs. Plunge into a large bowl of iced water and rub of the skins with fingers. Place on a large chopping board and cut in half. Remove the seeds and cut the pepper flesh into thin strips. Transfer to a bowl.
# Follow the same method with the tomatoes, heating with the blow torch just until the skins loosen and shrink back from the flesh. Remove skins, place tomatoes on a board, cut into quarters and scoop out the seeds. Cut the tomato flesh into long strips. Put into a clean bowl.
# Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a small frying pan. Add three sprigs of thyme and one garlic clove. Cook the peppers over a gentle heat for 3-4 minutes until well softened. Tip into the bowl with the tomatoes. Remove the thyme and garlic and stir in the red wine vinegar.
# Heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil in a clean frying pan. Strip the leaves from the remaining thyme sprig and add to the pan with the second garlic clove. Cut the bread into small cubes and gently fry with the thyme and garlic for 2-3 minutes until golden, adding the butter after 1 minute. Turn regularly to prevent the croutons over-browning. Drain on kitchen paper.
# Crush the peppercorns and seeds with a pestle and mortar and scatter over a plate in an even layer. Roll the tuna in the spices until evenly coated. Heat a small non-stick frying pan. Pour the oil over a clean plate and quickly roll the tuna in the oil. Add to the frying pan and cook for about 2 minutes, turning every 30 seconds until browned all over. Put to one side.
# Cut either side of each olive stone to remove the flesh. Discard the stones. Cut the anchovies into half lengthways. Add the olive pieces, anchovies and extra virgin olive oil to the tomatoes and peppers. Stir in the capers and season to taste add a little extra vinegar if you like. Cut the tuna into 5mm slices.
# Spoon the tomato and pepper mixture into the centre of two white plates use a metal cooking ring to help you achieve an even shape if you like. Top each pile with three slices of tuna and sprinkle with croutons. Scatter a few basil leaves over and serve.
1. If you cant get tuna loin, buy thick tuna steaks instead. Always make sure your tuna is really fresh if you are going to serve it rare or just seared as for this recipe.
2. Youll find plenty of tiny basil leaves in a growing pot of basil from the supermarket.
3. Cooks blow torches are available from most department stores and cookware shops. Use with care as the flame is very fierce. If you cant find one, grill the peppers under a high heat until blackened and blanch the tomatoes in just-boiled water for a few seconds to remove the skins.
4. Marinated anchovies are available at the deli counter or in the chiller cabinets of many supermarkets. Alternatively, try at your local delicatessen.
5. Any rustic white bread will make good croutons for this recipe.