Sunday, 18 April 2010

Tasty Tuna Italian Stylee

By Ceri x

A couple of months ago, Charlotte and I decided to have a slightly impromptu dinner party one Saturday evening. Charlotte whipped up her fantastic self-created Sausage pasta dish as a starter (an earlier post on the blog and well worth a look), and I was to provide the main course. I had it in my head that I had wanted to cook Tuna steaks for the previous couple of days. I had the perfect excuse as our good friend Tim was leaving London for more South Westerly climes (Bristol) so it called for an evening of wine, banter, wonderful Italian food and some smooth moves with a griddle pan.

Tuna as many people unfortunately know it, is that convenience fish you get out of a tin from the supermarket. The fresh Tuna steaks that you buy from the fishmonger make for an entirely different experience. When cooked well (my preferred way is with a very hot griddle pan leaving a lovely layer of pink through the middle of the steak so it is served medium rare) it is a delicious, meaty yet light fish with a really wonderful flavour that the canned version doesn't even come close to.

The recipe I chose was one I found online and adapted. This was an Italian style marinade including roasted peppers, capers, olive oil and lemon juice. As Charlotte previously mentioned, the Keston Kitchen rarely goes a week without the little wonders that are capers making an appearance. I love them and they go extremely well with fish of most kinds.

The recipe below is really easy once you master the cooking of the tuna. I served it on a salad of rocket, watercress, toasted pine nuts and roasted cherry tomatoes with a balsamic vinegar dressing, along with new potatoes in a garlic herb butter. It was a really tasty, fresh mediterranean style dish that we all fell in love with... even Rachie and she's not a fish fan.

It's worth a mention to be careful where you get your Tuna from to make sure it's responsibly sourced as it's an endangered species. I love this fish and think it's important to be aware of where it has come from when enjoying your dinner. It's always good to check with your fishmonger to make completely sure.

Ingredients: Serves 6
  • 6 8-ounce tuna steaks
  • 250 ml olive oil
  • 3 table spoons fresh roughly chopped parsley
  • 4 roasted peppers
  • 4 spring onions, sliced thinly
  • juice of 1 freshly squeezed lemon
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


Mix the olive oil with parsley, roasted peppers, spring onions, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, capers, oregano, salt and pepper in a saucepan. Simmer over low temperature while stirring until completely mixed. Remove from heat and set aside.

Coat tuna steaks with remaining olive oil and lemon juice. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Preheat grill as hot as you can get it. Place tuna steaks on oiled grill and cook for about 3 to 5 minute per side or until done. Tuna steaks are done then the meat is opaque through the middle. Do not over cook tuna as it will go dry.

An alternative way (and my preferred method) to cook the Tuna is on a griddle pan- happily we have one in the Keston Kitchen. If you have one, heat the pan until really, really hot. Place the tuna carefully in the pan which should be non stick. Leave to cook on each side for 3 minutes for a medium rare steak- more for well done. I am a firm believer that the fish tastes better a little rare with a streak of pink running through the middle. It's also worth taking the fish off the griddle pan and placing the lines that run along the bottom to go in the opposite direction for that criss- cross effect.

The fish was then placed on a bed of the salad with a side of the new potatoes in garlic butter. We had a lovely Saturday evening dinner with delicious food and great people.

Belated good luck for happy times in Bristol Tim. xx


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