Tuna steaks in a quinoa crust on courgettes

Tuna steaks in a quinoa crust on courgettes

By
From
Sicily
Serves
4 as a main course or 6 as a starter

This light and lovely dish comes from the stunning Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina. The method of cooking the tuna in a crust in the oven means that it is a fantastic dish for entertaining, and we love the contrast of the buttery, crunchy coating and the pink rare tuna inside. It is also gluten-free. A quicker version if you are in a hurry is to coat the fish in finely crushed pistachios instead. The courgette (zucchini) batons are so easy to make they have become a staple vegetable in our house. I have even had them for breakfast with scrambled eggs.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
100g quinoa
280ml water
salt
freshly ground black pepper
25g salted butter
100ml freshly squeezed orange juice
50g caster sugar
80ml white wine vinegar
6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed to open them
1 star anise
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
600g sustainably caught fresh tuna, cut into 4 or 6 steaks
1 egg white, loosely beaten
2 courgettes, cut into julienne strips
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt flakes
a few micro leaves or mint, to garnish

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cook the quinoa in the water with a pinch of salt until the liquid evaporates completely. Keep stirring the pan with a wooden spoon; the quinoa will crackle and won’t cook through but you will have a lovely crunchy result. Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the dried-out quinoa. Sauté the quinoa until it turns golden brown – around 5 minutes should do it. Transfer to a large plate and allow to cool
  2. Mix the orange juice, sugar and vinegar together in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and let the sauce bubble for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the spices. Let them infuse for 20 minutes and then strain the sauce through a sieve into a bowl.
  3. Season the tuna steaks with salt. Dip them in the egg white and then in the crispy quinoa and bake in an ovenproof dish for 6 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté the courgettes in the oil with a little seasoning for just a couple of minutes and place some in the centre of each plate. Cut the tuna steaks in half, put them on the zucchini and drizzle over a little of the spiced orange sauce, with a few splashes around the plate. Serve straight away garnished with some sea salt flakes and a few micro or mint leaves.

Variation:

  • Coat the tuna steaks in 50 g (2 oz) peeled green pistachios roughly ground in a food processor instead of the quino
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Sicily
Sicilian
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