Seared Tuna & Olives with Rooster’s Accomplice
If you want to hang onto the last hurrah of Summer, then this is the mid-week dinner for you. It also uses a general tomato & Olive sauce that I use on fish all the time – and is good for Chicken, too. It takes all of ten minutes to knock up, and gives your food a southern French sort of feel.
I don’t actually eat that much fresh Tuna – I find it a little dull and to be honest, there’s much more interesting fish out there, especially if you use a fishmonger rather than a supermarket to buy from. However, it’s readily available and is a good choice for those who don’t like fish. The thickness and steak-esque flavours it has lets it stand up to the more muscular flavours from the Olives, Garlic and the beer I’ve chosen.
So; sauce first. Chop a handful of Olives in half, and do the same with some small tomatoes. I used the tail-end of my own crop from the summer, but you can get loads of cherry varieties out there these days. For some reason, this works much better with small tomatoes rather than chopped large ones – i think it’s the sweetness. Anyway, gently warm some Olive Oil in a pan, and drop a small dollop of Tomato Puree. If you have tomato pesto to hand, you could use that, too. You only need a small amount, just enough to colour and flavour the oil.
Gently simmer your tomatoes and olives in this oil for about 10 minutes until the tomatoes begin to break down. Add one small crushed clove of Garlic. All the juices will start to mingle and create their own sauce; all you need to then is season with a good pinch of salt, a little pinch of sugar, and a little chopped Basil. A little caramelisation on the Tomatoes isn’t a bad thing, either.
Leave to simmer whilst you cook your Tuna – not too long, or the fish will dry out. For a decent (medium) sized steak, about 4/5 minutes each side. Just enough to cook through.
Plate up, give your fish a squeeze of lemon and a little salt, and you’re good. Eat immediately, with some crusty bread. The sauce is punchy, so don’t smother the fish in it – it’s just an accompaniment.
Spookily, in terms of beer, I opted for a fresh bottle of Rooster’s Accomplice (6% abv) to enjoy with this. Pouring a rich shade of amber , it’s a trademark Rooster’s IPA; nutty, bready malt body with hints of sweet gingerbread spice, a nose packed with marmalade and pine, and a clean, restrained bitter finish. Incredibly elegant, it was originally brewed with Tom Odell last year, but made a comeback this summer. And so it should; it’s a cracking beer, and one that dovetails nicely with the strong flavours in the sauce.
If, like me, you’re figuring out how to use the last of those tomatoes (and fresh herbs) that have done so well during this arid summer, here’s another simple idea that tastes amazing. Not so much Sun-dried, but oven-dried Tomatoes. All you need to do is take your tomatoes – however many you have – and lay them on a baking tray, cut in two. Sprinkle liberally with salt, and pop into an oven on 100C for around five hours. If you have fresh herbs – I used Sage and Rosemary -lay those on top during the last hour.
The time is estimated – it depends entirely on the size of the toms. What you want is a result where they a deflated, dried but not burned. Give them a prod and if they have ‘toughened up’, you’ll know they are done. Sterilise a Kilner Jar, then put your tomatoes in. Leave to cool, then cover with Oil, a smashed clove of Garlic, and another couple of sprigs of fresh (bruised) herbs – any you want.
Leave for 24 hours in the fridge, then enjoy with Pasta, Cheeseboards, Pizza or however you want. Couldn’t be easier. They last about a week.