Carpaccio aux deux thons

You may be dubious about raw fish, but I can assure you that this tastes superb and is a very elegant and original starter (if you can get hold of the fresh tuna of course). It’s very rich — you only need small helpings.

150g red tuna fillet
150g white tuna fillet (or swordfish)
50g tapenade (an olive & anchovy paste)
juice of 2 limes
salt & pepper
300ml olive oil
1 tsp ground coriander
8 sprigs fresh basil

Wrap the pieces of tuna in clingfilm and put them in the freezer to freeze almost solid. This is necessary because you now want to slice them as thinly as you possibly can with a very sharp knife (think smoked salmon — you should practically be able to see through them).

Mix together the oil, lime juice, saffron, salt and pepper and whisk thoroughly.

Spread a thin layer of tapenade on individual serving plates. Arrange the sliced tuna on top, alternating red and white slices. Salt, pepper, and sprinkle with chopped basil and coriander. Pour over the olive oil dressing and leave to stand (5 minutes is enough assuming the tuna has thawed out). Serve chilled.

If you think some people won’t like tapenade, you can serve it separately on toasted slices of French bread.

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