Rolled, stuffed loin of tuna

Fishing for Complements

We’ve surely progressed from the days when drinking red wine with fish was frowned upon. Having said that, not many dishes are equally happy with white or red. This is one of them, inspired by a lunch on the road from Palermo to Agrigento. It’s a great buffet supper dish suits which suits white, red or even rosé, as long as it has plenty of robust fruit.

The tuna
The equivalent of 75-100g fresh tuna loin per person in one piece cut into very thin steaks. Ask your fishmonger to do that.

This stuffing recipe is enough for 10-12 people.

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • sea salt and 4-5 black peppercorns
  • large bunch of mint, washed and dried
  • 100g shelled pistachios
  • plenty of fruity olive oil
  • half a jar of Peppadew peppers, rinsed and drained
  • a good handful of salted capers, rinsed and drained
  • about 250ml fruity wine of any colour
  • a large lemon or two
  • fresh bay leaves to decorate

Method

Preheat the oven to 160 deg C

In a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic, sea salt and black peppercorns to a mush. Finely slice a dozen or so of the peppers. Reserve some of the mint leaves for decoration. Strip the rest and put in a food processor and chop finely with half the pistachios. Add the garlic puree and drip-feed in enough olive oil for a pesto-like consistency. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and stir in the capers, peppers and whole pistachios.

Put each of the slices of tuna between two sheets of clingwrap and beat with a meat hammer until almost transparent. Divide the stuffing between them and roll each up like a sausage. Secure with cocktail sticks if necessary and pack into an ovenproof dish. Drizzle generously with oil, and add the wine. Cover and bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and baste liberally with the juices. Bake for 20 minutes more. Switch off the heat and let the tuna cool in the cooking juices, which should be getting nicely spicy and syrupy.

Remove the cocktail sticks and baste once more. Decorate with the reserved mint leaves, sprigs of bay, whole peppers from the jar and thin slices of lemon. Just before serving, dress liberally with lemon juice. Serve at room temperature.

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