Friday, Oct 24th

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Celebrity Chef Gizzi Erskine's recipe: Tuna, and caponata salad

'Bring Back Britain's Lunch Hour' campaign

Tuna, and caponata salad

Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins

2 x 5cm thick spankingly fresh tuna steaks or sashimi loin
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large aubergine, chopped into uniform 1 cm cubes
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
250g cherry tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
150g kalamata olives stoned
30g capers in vinegar
handful basil leaves, shredded
a small bag of rocket
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
capers for serving.

Heat the oil in a frying pan until really hot. Season the tuna steaks with salt and pepper then sear them all over for 20 seconds on each side until the meat is fairly dark on the outside and really rare in the middle. Remove and leave to rest for one hour in the freezer until it firms up and is almost frozen (a restaurant trick that will make it easier to slice). Technically you need to let things cool before popping them into the fridge or freezer but as this meat has simply been seared it should not be too warm. Use your own instincts though – if you think it needs to cool a little before freezing then feel free to do so.

Heat half the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the aubergine, then cook for 8-10 mins until brown and soft. Tip into a colander over a bowl. Fry the onions and peppers for 6-8 minutes until starting to soften.

Tip any oil from the bowl back into the pan and top it up with a splash of fresh oil. Fry the tomatoes and the crushed garlic together. Sprinkle the sugar over, splash in the vinegar, then cook for 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes start to release their juice.

Tip the aubergine, onion and peppers back in. Scatter in the olives, capers and basil, then give everything a good stir. Cook for 5 mins until simmering, then season to taste. Turn off the heat, drizzle in the rest of the oil, then set aside to cool for this salad.

Dress the rocket leaves in the lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning.

To serve slice the tuna really thinly and lay out onto a plate. Top with some cold Caponata salad and some dressed rocket leaves and maybe scatter over a few more capers.

By celebrity Chef Gizzi Erskine

For further information about 'Bring Back Britain's Lunch Hour', please log on to http://www.bbblh.co.uk

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