Seared Tuna with Stimpirata Dressing

From issue #9.
Photography by Minka Firth.
Seared Tuna with Stimpirata Dressing

The richness of the tuna is offset perfectly by the acid and salt in this classic Sicilian dressing. Salmon and other firm-fleshed white fish such as hapuka are good alternatives if tuna is unavailable.

Serves: 4


500 gram piece of tuna
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, finely sliced
1⁄2 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
50 grams stuffed green olives, halved
2 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1⁄2 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped oregano
3 tablespoons pinenuts, toasted


Tuna: Cut the tuna into 1⁄2 cm thick slices. Heat a heavy-based sauté pan or a ridged grill until very hot. Brush both sides of the tuna with a little oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook the tuna in batches, searing quickly on both sides. Place on a serving platter as they
are cooked.

Dressing: Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft. Add the garlic, olives and capers and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, sugar and the oregano, allowing the vinegar to bubble up. Remove from the heat, check for seasoning and add the pinenuts.

To serve: Place the tuna on a serving platter and spoon over the dressing. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4 as an entrée or luncheon dish