About this recipe:Heart-healthy tuna has a unique flavour and a firm texture. Here, it is briefly pan-fried, then gently cooked in a red pepper and tomato sauce. Delicious with plain or olive ciabatta.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
4 tuna steaks, about 2cm thick
2 red peppers, halved lengthways and deseeded
350g vine-ripened tomatoes, skinned and diced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of sugar
150g fine green beans, halved
40g stoned black olives, halved
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
12 large fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:15min › Ready in:35min
Preheat the grill to high. Whisk together 1 tbsp of the oil and 1 tsp of the vinegar. Brush over the tuna steaks and lightly season with pepper. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the vegetables.
Put the peppers, skin-side up, in the grill pan and grill for about 5 minutes until the skins are blackened and blistered. Put the peppers in a plastic bag and leave until cool enough to handle, then, working over a bowl to catch the juice, peel the peppers. Cut into 1cm dice and add to the juice in the bowl. Add the tomatoes.
Heat a heavy non-stick frying pan, add the tuna steaks and cook over a moderately high heat for 1 minute on each side until lightly browned. The tuna should still be very rare in the middle at this stage. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in the pan and gently cook the onion for 5 minutes until soft. Add the chilli, garlic, cinnamon and sugar and stir for a few seconds, then tip in the peppers, tomatoes, green beans, remaining vinegar and 1 tbsp water. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 3 minutes. (The mixture will look slightly dry at first, but will soon become juicy.)
Stir in the olives and place the tuna steaks on top of the salsa. Cover and cook for 3–4 minutes until the tuna is cooked to your liking and the beans are just tender.
Transfer the tuna to warmed plates. Stir the mint into the salsa and bubble for a few seconds, then stir in half the basil. Spoon the salsa over and around the tuna, scatter over the remaining basil and serve.
Take care not to overcook the tuna or it will be dry and tough. It should still be very slightly pink in the middle when served.
Swordfish or other firm fish steaks can be used instead of the tuna.