I've been a big Nigella Lawson fan for about a decade now, so, naturally, I pre-ordered her new book Nigellissima on Amazon and immediately began trying out recipes when it came. One of the first recipes I tried was this Tuscan tuna tartare.
Ryan is a big fan of raw tuna, which is what initially prompted me to make the tuna tartare. But, when I told him about it, he was skeptical. Short of dipping it in a little soy sauce, how could you improve something as perfect as fresh, sashimi-grade tuna?
I'm happy to report that, once I'd chopped up all that perfect tuna (as he looked on, cringing), mixed it with a few subtle and not overpowering garnishes, and served it up on arugula with homemade pita chips, he was 100% on board.
I don't think tartare will be replacing sashimi in his book anytime soon, but it made for a nice change, and he raved about how the capers set off the tuna flavor perfectly without distracting from it.
2 cups arugula
12 ounces raw sashimi-grade tuna
2 tablespoons drained capers
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
01. Using a sharp knife, chop tuna into small chunks. Do not use a food processor!
02. Zest lemon over the tuna. Add sliced scallions, capers, salt, and pepper.
03. Mix gently with your hands.
04. Serve on a bed of arugula. Drizzle olive oil over tuna and arugula. Squeeze lemon over just the arugula, but serve with a lemon so that people can squeeze it onto the tuna at the table. The reason for waiting, is that the lemon can turn the tuna white.
Nigella likes to serve this with toasted bread or homemade french fries. As a last-minute inspiration, I fried up some wedges of flatbread in olive oil, and found that it made a perfect accompaniment.