Catch up time

It’s been too long. Far far too long. I expect it’s typical of the amateur blogger – great expectations at the start, a spurt of enthusiasm for a few weeks then fizzle to nothing. So it is with renewed vigour that I sit here hoping to log another recipe or two.

Frankly the major challenge over the last six months has been talking the kids into eating something other than the same old stuff I trot out week after week.

Anyway – as luck would have it, I managed to take a photo of something I cooked recently, so I may as well commit it to e-paper –

Tuna Nicoise Salad

You need a lovely thick piece of fresh tuna to make this really good, although tinned can still work well. Bars and restaurants up and down the country attempt to wow us with this dish but it invariably ends up disappointing. Try this version – you’ll love it…

In a pestle and mortar, grind sea salt, black peppercorns and a pinch of cumin, then rub it all over the tuna. Put the tuna in a hot pan with some olive oil and sear for just  one minute on each side – no more – then set aside.

Boil a handful of new potatoes and when cooked, cut into slices the thickness of a pound coin. If you like, you can then fry them lightly in butter. At the same time, steam a handful of green beans. When they are just done, toss them in a pan with good olive oil, salt, pepper and finely chopped garlic for just 30 seconds and leave – they will soak up all the lovely salty, garlicy oil.

Tuna NicoiseBoil a few eggs for a few minutes until just hard boiled (hopefully the yolks will still be a litte runny) and peel.

Cut up a cos/romaine lettuce, a handful of plum tomatoes and a small red onion.

Now the dressing – a creamy one works best and if you have the patience (it’s really not that difficult to be honest) then I would do the following:

Separate an organic egg yolk into a bowl and add a teaspoon of dijon mustard, salt, pepper and a good splash of white wine vinegar and some tarragon. Now take a whisk and start beating while adding very slowly either very light olive oil or sunflower oil (It’s essentially a mayonnaise that you’re making – perfect for this salad). Keep adding oil until it reaches your desired consistency – for me that is thick and creamy…

Now to put it all together on a large plate. Cut the tuna into large slices and lay over the salad along with five or six anchovy fillets. then pour over the dressing and season further if needed.

Eat with really good stone baked organic white bread and a bottle of provence rose. Perfect for a hot/warm/rainy summer’s day.

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