This pistachio tuna with carribbean salsa recipe originates from the hugely talented Yotam Ottolenghi. I have Sun Temple-ized it a bit, coz… that’s how I roll………
Despite the fact that I have called the salsa “Caribbean” because of all the lovely tropical fruit in it, I actually made this in London, so its a transatlantic kind of dish. All the ingredients are available in St. Lucia as well, so please try this.
Its best to start with the salsa, as once you begin the tuna, its all pretty fast and engaging. The salsa just needs you to chop everything and mix. I hesitated over adding the Thai fish sauce, but please do use it, as it adds a really nice complexity and doesn’t take away any of the freshness or make it fishy tasting. Thai fish sauce is widely available on both sides of the Atlantic.
1 small cucumber, seeded and cubed
2 c paw paw (papaya) cut into cubes
1 large ripe mango cut into cubes
1 red chilli finely chopped
10g (1 tbsp) grated fresh ginger
1 small red onion finely chopped
grated zest and juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
4 tbsp olive oil
I was having a coffee with Pauline, Glynis and Debbie recently after my lovely stretch class and we got to talking about my recipes. Many people don’t have a food processor which I use a lot, and Pauline said it means she simply won’t make many of my recipes. That makes me sad. There are many ways to achieve a particular result. So although I use my food processor here to chop the nuts, you could put them in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin. I will try to offer alternatives, but don’t deny your own inherent creativity, and definitely don’t deny Sun Temple in your life.
Please chop the nuts quite finely, using the photo as a guide and mix in the lemon/lime zest. Lay this out on a waiting roasting tray.
I also use teflon sheets to line baking trays. I find them useful because washing up is easier and things don’t stick. You also don’t need any fat for “greasing” They are not however, critical to the pistachio tuna with carribbean salsa recipe.
As a quick aside, I was able to buy lovely tuna loin from a fish caught in the Caribbean sea, from my friends at Superior Fish and Seafood this week.
Pre-heat the oven to 250ºC (480ºF), or as high as it will go. Next, cut the tuna loin lengthways as in the photo above.
While you are doing that, heat up a large frying pan with the olive oil until it is smokingly hot. You want to sear these babies as quickly as you possibly can. If you look in the next photo you will see that the middle is still completely raw.
Serves 6 with leftovers
150g (1 heaped c) shelled pistachio nuts
grated zest 1 lemon/large lime
1 kg (2.2 lbs) tuna loin
2 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper
Smear the mustard over the newly seared tuna and gently lay on the bed of green and fragrant nuts, rolling around to coat as best as you can. This is actually quite satisfying as the nuts do oblige and cover the loins very well.
Transfer the roasting tray to the oven and roast for 5 to 6 minutes. Don’t be tempted to cook for longer as you will be sad. Remember too that the fish will continue cooking even after you take it out. The caveat here of course is the thickness of the loins. You are aiming for a raw centre with 1-2cm ring of cooked meat around.
Slice across to create the beauties you see in these photos. Then, what I suggest is close your eyes, take a deep breath and then when you open them you will be infused with a creative way to arrange your plate, because these are definitely two photogenic items. I served mine for dinner with Mark and Emma (sadly, Alex was away on a business trip) with roasted vegetables, and then the next day Mark and I had the leftovers with a peppery rocket salad.