Category Archives: Recipes: Seafood

Recipe: Tuna, Sicilian-style

Perfect for a quick sophisticated dinner as it’s ready in a few minutes with minimum preparation… The only real prep is cutting the cherry tomatoes in half and de-pipping the olives, but then you can buy them already done.

Ingredients: (serves 2)

2 Thick cut fresh tuna steaks 25 – 30 mm

About 800g Cherry tomatoes

A fistful of good quality soft juicy calamata olives, de-pipped

Half a fistful of capers

Enough Extra Virgin Olive oil to generously cover the bottom of the frying pan and then some.

You also need:

1 griddle pan – don’t even think about grilling the tuna without this.

1 ordinary frying pan. I use a large heavy bottomed, or a large non-stick with a lid.

A jolly good extractor fan.

Crispy baguette to mop up the juice if you like…

Easy-peasy:

  1. Rub tuna steaks in olive oil and generously season with Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper (I prefer to use black peppercorns that I’ve previously crushed in a mortar and pestle for a fresher more aromatic peppery taste).  Set aside.
  2. Glug a whack of olive oil into the frying pan and add the cherry tomatoes to the cold oil.  – Note: cut the tomatoes in half (this stops them from bursting when you poke them with your fork and covering yourself in tomato pips at the dinner table, turning your dinner party into a less sophisticated affair.  It also helps to let some of the juices of the little tomatoes out into the playground where the olive oil languishes in wait).
  3. Add de-pipped kalamata olives and the capers. 
  4. Slowly warm up the olive oil, tomatoes, capers and olives together. It should just warm up slowly and heat through and slowly make the odd bubble, without getting to a furious simmer.
  5. You want the tomatoes to soften and the juices to combine with olive oil and play nicely together.
  6. Whilst your sauce is warming through, heat up your griddle pan so it’s nice and hot.  Switch on the extractor and add your tuna steaks. You barely need a minute on each side. And then flip them 90 degrees so that you get a checked grid design on the steaks. Be careful not to over-cook.  The steaks should be pink inside. 
  7. Put them onto a heated platter to rest for a few minutes.
  8. Transfer to warmed plates and half cover with the sauce.

You can add red chilli if you want – to the tomato sauce, or to serve.

Tip:  Make double the quantity and then flake the left over tuna into the left over sauce and serve with pasta.

Source:  The wording of this recipe is courtesy of B, my recently-ex-wife, in May 2013.  The dish was first cooked for us by her friend, Cheryl, during a trip we made to the UK in October 2007.  My apologies to all concerned if I don’t credit the original creator of the recipe, but that is all the background I have.

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