Ginger, Soy & Sesame Tuna Salad – A light lunch on a cold day…

Even though ummer is a long way off in the northern hemisphere, I am beginning to miss the flavours of warmer times.  I miss the frssh flavours and raw foods that form the majoirity of my meals in summertime – still, not long until I head for the southern hemisphere to feel the kiss of the sun once more.

I am currently in a wet and wild northern Brittany and have got a nice Breton Beef stew slow cooking for dinner tonight – my logic is it will be operfext after an afternoon braving the elements.  Before this though, we need lunch and I want something light that gives us not feeling too full and bloated and stops us leaving the house.  A fresh tuna salad seems just the ticket.  A second motive is to leave some room to pick up somr nice Breton crepes as a mid afternoon snack.

This was something quick and easy I knocked up earlier to share and turned out combining  crisp leaves, creamy avocado and tomato with flash cooked medium rare tuna, bacon lardons and some alltogether more Asian influences…

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients

1 or 2 small fresh tuna steaks
100g bacon lardons or chopped smoked streaky bacon
3 spring onions
1 head of romaine lettuce
Handful of good watercress
Bunch of cherry tomatoes halved
1 avocado chopped roughly
Teaspoon of honey
3 teaspoons of soy sauce
Some pickled ginger chopped finely
Shake or two of Tabasco sauce
Juice from 1 lime
Glug of walnut oil and few teaspoons of sesame oil
Toasted sesame seeds

Method

1. Chop tomatoes and avocado and set aside. Place Salad leaves in a bowl.
2. Chop spring onions finely.
3. Fry lardons in a dry pan over a medium heat until browned then add spring onions and stir fry for a minute.
4. Set bacon and onion mixture aside and flash fry tuna in the oil left in the pan for a minute each side. If you don’t like rare tuna (you are probably mad, but there you go!) then cook for longer.
5. Remove tuna from pan and cut into nice long slices.
6. To make the dressing, put pan back on heat and chuck in soy sauce, lime juice, honey, pickled ginger, walnut & sesame oil and muddle the whole lot around in the pan for 30 seconds then take off the heat.
7. Throw the tuna, tomatoes, avocado and bacon/onion together with the salad leaves and toss around in the salad bowl.
8. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and sprinkle with sesame seeds

Pinenut & Wasabi Crusted Rack Of Lamb

When I was a lot younger than I am now, I used to dislike meat with bones in and particularly Lamb. I think this was partly as a result of having a vegetarian mother who was not keen of cooking meat. When she did cook meat, she liked to ensure that there was no possibility of any food poisoning from the meat. Consequently, this meant that there was absolutely no pinkness, moisture or flavor in the meat!

My tastes have changed and I remember being given pink lamb by my sister when I was in my late teens. I didn’t like the look of it but, keen to be polite tried a mouthful. I honestly expected that I would have to spit it out, but…

I loved it. Suddenly i knew what all the fuss about getting to know your butcher was about and cooking stuff just so.

Since that time I have never looked back and enjoyed meat medium rare.

This dish is really quick and easy to cook and is great served with either a green salad and jacket potato for a quick family supper, or you could do some green beans and Boulangere potatoes for a great dinner party dish.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

2 racks of lamb – these must be French trimmed.
100g butter
4 Tbsp breadcrumbs (gluten free is fine)
3-4 tsp good Wasabi
3 Tbsp fresh mint
1-2 Tbsp fresh Thyme
125g pine nuts

Method

1. Check your racks of lamb to ensure that all of the fat has been trimmed from it and the bones showing are clean. If not, get busy with a small sharp knife.
2. To make the crust, whizz together all ingredients except lamb with stick blender or in food processor. Whizz until they are combined and smooth.
3. Using your hands, pat the crust onto the top of the lamb.
4. Chill in the fridge for 40 mins or freezer for 10 mins.
5. Place racks onto a baking sheet and into a preheated oven at 200c.
6. Cook for 15-20 mins for lamb to still be pink in the middle.
7. Rest meat for 5-10 mins under foil and cut into thick slices with 1 bone per slice.

Serve and accept the accolades.