Seared Tuna with braised Zucchini and crispy caper dressing

Seared Tuna with Crispy Caper DressingWith all the preparation for our departure from Vienna and my busy training schedule for the upcoming Ironman in Zurich, I have had little time to practice my cooking skills. The invitation of our neighbours for a small dinner at our place gave me the perfect opportunity to see how rusty I was in front of the stove. The planned menu was:

  • Seared Tuna with Braised Zucchinis (own recipe)
  • Green Curry Prawn (own recipe)
  • Honey Cakes (Donna Hay)

And yes, I know now how out-of-practice I am by the sheer facts that I forgot to add salt and pepper to the salad and forgot to cook Basmati rice next to the curry. I also tried new type of shrimps which came out pretty dry… (I will keep the Black Tiger Prawns in the future). It was all a bit embarrassing and I told my self that I need to cook at least once a week from now on.

Here is the recipe of the starter:

  • 150g Corn-Salad Roughly chopped
  • 150gr White Beans (pre-cooked if you need to save time)
  • 1 large Zucchini cut in thin slices
  • 300gr fresh tuna, thinly sliced

For the Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamon vinegar (Greek Balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons small salted capers, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped dill sprigs
  • cracked black pepper & salt

To make the dressing, heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil, capers and lime zest and cook for 4 minutes or until crisp. Remove the pan from the heat and add the dill and pepper. Allow to cool.

To make the rest, re-heat the same pan over high heat. Add some oil and quickly cook the thin slices of zucchini until golden. Remove the slices and put them in a bowl. Allow to cool.

Place the chopped corn salad on serving plates, add on top some whit beans, cover the beans with some grilled zucchini slices.

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Sear the slice on tuna on 1 side only for 10 second and add the slices on top of the Zucchini. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve.

Zucchini and Caper Penne Rigate

Zucchini & Caper Penne

This is one of my all-time favorite pasta recipe. The original recipe, from Michele Cranston in Marie Claire’s cook-book “Fresh”, foresees spaghetti but I prefer it with penne. It really is fresh, “mid-summery” and I love the mix of parsley & capers.

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 zucchini (courgettes), grated
  • 500gr. penne rigate
  • 1/2 cup (15gr) roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons capers (big or small)
  • 110gr Parmesan cheese

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil for the pasta. Heat a deep frying pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil and garlic. Move the garlic around the pan with a spatula until it is lightly golden and then add the grated zucchini.

Shopping Parsley

Grating the zucchinicooking the zucchini & pastaFinal Zucchini and Caper PenneSlowly braise the grated zucchini, stirring it as it cooks, for about 15 minutes or until it begins to dry out and catch on the bottom of the pan.

Cook the pasta until al dente then drain and return it to the saucepan. Add the parsley, capers, most of the Parmesan and the zucchini. Toss everything together and divide the pasta between four pasta bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan