Don’t Tune Me Tuna

The author with a dead tuna.
The author with a dead tuna.


THE fish are jumping, and they happen to be tuna. Last week myself, Goose Wines juice-fermenter Alwyn Liebenberg and Mark Goldsworthy from Edgebaston Wines went 30 miles off Cape Point and caught ourselves a boat-load. Mostly longfin, but running in at 30kg, they were way bigger than usual. I also got a yellow-fin which, although smallish, made my day: yellow-fin has that crimson-coloured flesh,that is far superior to long-fin, and besides blue-fin the yellow provides the ultimate sashimi experience.

So first day it was sashimi. Second day seared steaks. And on the third day I was getting pretty tired or rare, bloody fish. So this recipe was used to turn a loin of tuna into a great meal, highly recommended if you can get your hands on some yellow-fin.

Take one loin or fillet of tuna, about 3kg. Place in a casserole dish. Season with salt and pepper. Pour a glug of olive oil over the fish. Role it around in the oil to ensure the whole fish is covered. Now add the following: 2 cups of black olives, halved and pitted; 3 fistfuls of chopped flat-leaf parsley; the juice of 3 lemons; 1 tablespoon of lemon zest; 1 glass of dry white wine. Mix all this stuff over and around the fish.

Right. Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees. Cover the casserole and bung the dish in the oven. Cook for 20-25mins. Remove. Open dish. Break the cooked tuna into bite-size chunks. Serve with the sauce over brown rice.

Eat with a spoon and hunks of bread to mop the juices.

To drink I like a bracing unwooded Chardonnay, and reached for the Paradyskloof 2009. This wine has a steely, grippy, zingy juiciness that perfectly accompanies the fish and is a great wine to have before eating as it gets the stomach juices going. Actually, I have to remember to take Jan Boland some tuna.

Go fishing, and bon appetit.


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