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Seared tuna chunks with sesame seeds

I love tuna! Especially when it's lightly seared outside and almost raw inside. You have to try out this recipe: seared tuna chunks with sesame seeds with amazing dipping sauce with tamarind paste, soy sauce and honey. Perfect for ligh lunch or with a bottle of wine and fine conversation. It's a kind of dish that I appreciate the most: minimal effort, maximum results. The preparation takes 20 minutes tops, looks lovely and is really delicious. Give it a try!

Recipe: Seared tuna chunks with sesame seeds

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 200 g thick tuna steak
  • 3-4 tbsp black and white sesame seeds
  • one tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 red chilli pepper
  • one spring onion
  • a few leaves of fresh mint
  • a few leaves of fresh coriander
Method
  • Slice tuna into smaller chunks and coat them in sesame seeds.
  • Heat sesame oil on a pan and sear four sides of each chunk for about 15 seconds per side.
  • Finely chop chilli and herbs.
  • Cut the tuna chunks into 3-4 cm slices.
  • Place tuna on the plate. Top with chilli, spring onion, mint and coriander.
  • Serve with a dipping sauce.

Recipe: Dipping sauce

Ingredients
  • 3 tbso tamarind paste
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • one tsp honey
  • one tsp sesame oil
Method
  • Whisk all the ingredients together.
  • Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Warm tuna steak salad

This recipe falls into quick weeknight dinner that is not frozen pizza or Chinese takeaway category. All you have to do is to steam the vegetables, prepare dressing and pan-sear tuna steaks. It takes 15 minutes tops, but you can feel almost like a professional chef when serving dinner.

Recipe: Warm tuna steak salad

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • one cup of broad beans
  • one cup of snow peas
  • 2 tuna steaks
Method
  • Marinade tuna steaks for abou 30 minutes (it can be longer or a little shorter, if you don't have time).
  • Steam snow peas and broad beans for a few minutes, so that they soften, but are not overly cooked.
  • Combine dressing with peas and beans. Transfer vegetables into two plates.
  • Pan-sear tuna steaks for one or two minutes each side.
  • Slice the steaks and place on top of the vegetables. Top with freshly ground pepper.

Recipe: Marinade

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • one tsp. of chopped parsley
Method
  • Combine the ingredients

Recipe: Lemon dressing

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • one tsp. of chopped mint
  • one tsp. of chopped parsely
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Method
  • Whisk ingredients

Grilled salade nicoise

You probably have all heard about , right? And most of you have tried it at least once. So have I. But while I can easily evoke a mouthwatering image of a colourful salad, naming its ingredients comes up as quite a challenge. And this time it’s not me to cause the problem, it’s the salad. Finding the ultimate recipe seems impossible. Ok, so I didn’t verify this, but I’m willing to make a bet that ordering in each bistro on the French coast, you will end up eating a different meal every time.

The first version of the salad was limited to tomatoes, anchovies and a few drops of olive oil. We will find tomatoes in most of the contemporary variations of the salad - either cherry tomatoes, or thick slices of the larger ones. Anchovies either go together with tuna or substitute it. Personally, I cannot imagine a Niçoise salad without tuna, which is also the reason why I have avoided this particular salad for years. My aversion to canned tuna comes from the time when I was starting my culinary adventures at the age of 10. In one of the food magazines I found a recipe for tomatoes stuffed with tuna salad. Needless to say, this fancy presentation seemed like the essence of elegance and good taste (I was a huge fan of mini skewers at that time too), so I tortured my whole family with this dish on every occasion. I haven’t had the courage to ever try stuffed tomatoes again.

Luckily I have discovered that you can substitute canned tuna with slices of delicious, pink tuna steaks. Most recipes include haricot verts (or other beans), olives (black, Niçoise) and hard boiled eggs. Other add potatoes, artichokes, broad beans, slices of cucumber or radish, bell peppers, crunchy lettuce, capers, red onion or scallions. When it comes to dressing, different variations of vinaigrette are the most popular (with garlic, with red wine vinegar, with herbs), followed by olive oil mixed with fresh herbs, like parsley or basil.

The good new is that you can make whatever you want and still call it . I didn’t care for eggs, went with fresh tuna, grilled everything that was grillable and opted for traditional vinaigrette. You can do something similar. Or something completely different.

Recipe: Grilled salade niçoise

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 tuna fillets (about 150 g each)
  • a few baby potatoes
  • a handful of green beans
  • a few cherry tomatoes
  • a handful of olives
  • 1/2 of red onion, cut in half
Method
  • Whisk all the ingredients together.
  • Parboil the potatoes so that they're mostly cooked, but not perfectly soft (about 15 minutes). Let them cool and slice in halves.
  • Blanch green beans (about 5 minutes).
  • Grill potato halves, beans, onion quarters and tomatoes. The time depends on your grill, ingredients and individual preferences. Potatoes should be tender and golden, beans should remain crunchy, onion should be browned and tomato skins should start wrinkling. Place grilled vegetables on a plate, together with olives.
  • Grill tuna fillets for about 30 seconds each side (or longer, if you prefer the tuna well done).
  • Slice the tuna and place on the salad. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with lemon juice. Top the salad with vinaigrette.
  • Serve with bread and white wine.