Mediterranean Spring Tuna Salad

‘Late lunch with a friend’

Last week my friend and I decided to indulge in a fresh seared tuna salad as a welcome to the beginning of May, a great welcoming to the start of summer. This light Mediterranean lunch that is flavourful and a great dish for many occasions. The creamy beetroot gives the tuna a great companion and the pesto infused yogurt dressing beautifully coats the spinach and green leaves. The key is to use good quality pesto sauce or better yet, make it yourself if you have time! The crunchy rosemary butternut squash adds another element of sweetness while the garlic anchovy zucchini spaghetti gives that off-shore taste creating numerous dimensions to the depth. You can make the beet puree in advance along with roasting the butternut squash so this salad is really easy and tasty. This seared tuna sashimi salad is quite something and we enjoyed it with a friend of mine over a rustic glass of red last weekend!

Salad Ingredients

  • 300g tuna steak
  • assortment of green leaves
  • spinach leaves
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 Parsnip
  • garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, butter, anchovy filet
  • lemon juice
  • butternut squash (rosemary, olive oil, salt, pepper)
  • paprika
  • sesame seeds
  • Mint

Beetroot puree

  • 2 large beets
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 sweet potato
  • Butter, Cream, chicken stock, salt, pepper

In a sauce pan, add butter and all the chopped ingredients. Stir gently for some minutes before adding just enough cream so all the vegetable are covered. Add a bit of chicken stock concentration. Place the lid on and lower the heat and let the gently cook until soft. Remove from heat, puree the mixture, add salt and pepper. Reheat before serving.


Pesto Yogurt Dressing

  • 100g greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon djion mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon good quality pesto
  • Ground black pepper/pinch of salt

*Mix all the ingredients together


Begin by roasting the butternut squash: Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Place the sliced butternut squash into a baking tray that is coated with olive oil, ground black pepper and chopped rosemary. Place into the oven for about 1 1/2 hour until crispy. I left the skin on for a bit of crunch.

zucchini spaghetti & parsnip: With a mandolin, grate the zucchini into spaghetti strings and shave the parsnip into longer pieces. Place into a large bowl and coat with olive oil, salt, pepper and grated garlic. Leave to marinate for about 1/2-1 hour. Before serving: cook on a medium hot pan that has a bit of butter and a finely minced anchovy as this really gives flavour to the dish. Season with a pinch of salt, stir the zucchini and parsnips for about 5 minutes so the garlic cooks throughout.

Meanwhile, you can make the beetroot puree and pesto dressing unless you do them well in advance already.

To prepare the tuna steak: Rub a bit of soy sauce on both sides. Cook each side for a few minutes on a hot pan that has butter on it. Sear the sides and make sure the flesh is raw inside.

Ready to plate: Coat the assortment of salad leaves in the pesto yogurt dressing and place on each plate. Add the zucchini, parsnip and roasted butternut squash. Add some tuna slices on top that is coated with some beetroot puree. Grind some fresh pepper and garnish this with finely chopped paprika and sesame seeds. Perhaps drizzle a bit of olive oil, soy sauce and a bit of fresh mint. Finish with a squeeze of some lemon juice.


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