Saturday, October 29, 2005

Tuna and tasty weeds

My neighbour tugged at a patch of weeds in her garden and triumphantly said “Sorrel! Make yourself some soup” as she handed me a clump.

I cleaned them, took a good look and thought, no not in a soup kind of mood, what else can I do with you? I was tempted to shred it to give a salad some perky lemon-ness. But I had some tuna and thought, I must be able to combine them some how.

I found a Gay Bilson recipe, by way of Rick Stein, of seared tuna on sorrel and olives. I was warned that this bright green herb would turn brown and slimy on cooking, but not to be deterred.

Instead – this is what I concocted.

Buckwheat soba with tuna, sorrel and olives

Roll chunk of fresh tuna in crushed black pepper (see tuna salad recipe below) and sear, so the middle is still pink. Put aside. Rest. Then cut into mouth sized pieces.

Cook buckwheat noodles til al dente.

Slice an onion vertically, sauté in olive oil and add a generous amount of crushed garlic.

Add a handful of kalimata olives (these were the ones I have marinated in olive oil with garlic, rosemary, chilli, bay leaves and pepper corns), pitted and chopped.

Stir in the clean, de-ribbed sorrel and lastly the tuna. Toss briefly. Throw in the noodles. Add pepper, salt and lemon juice if you must –according to the demands your palate.

Slimy brown stuff isn’t the most picturesque, but it sure tastes good.

Seared tuna salad

The salad base – mixed lettuces, fennel, avocado, spring onion, cucumber, carrot, blanched asparagus (whatever is in fridge)

Vinaigrette – pretty basic just olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon juice.

A small chunk of fresh tuna (I love it but eat it less often now due to the mercury levels alas). Rub with garlic and a little olive oil, roll in cracked pepper. In a non stick pan or griddle sear the outside. Let it rest for a minute and slice. It’s soft and raw on the inside and the outside is tasty and cooked.

Combine salad, with tuna and dressing. Eat.

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