26 September 2023

Seared Tuna

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By Christine Salins.


Sustainability is a journey, not a destination, says Tom Walton in More Fish, More Veg (Murdoch Books, rrp $39.99).

“The more you care about what fuels your body, the easier it is to live a more sustainable lifestyle.”

Walton, a chef who is passionate about fitness and well-being, grew up in the Blue Mountains, immersed in the vegetable gardens and kitchen of a Lebanese neighbour, his adopted grandmother.

Her influence opened his heart and palate to a world of Middle Eastern food and culture that continues to fuel and inspire his cooking today.

Having worked at the two-hatted Blue Mountains restaurant, Darley’s, and various Sydney kitchens, he now alternates between Sydney and Byron Bay and is on a mission to inspire people to eat healthily and sustainably.

More Fish, More Veg is a collection of his go-to recipes featuring sustainable seafood and seasonal vegetables, all designed to be low fuss, maximum flavour and family friendly.

Some people are a little nervous about cooking fish, but with a few simple techniques in the toolkit it’s not that hard. Walton walks readers through key cooking methods step-by-step, and provides pointers on sustainability and seasonality that take the guesswork out of what fish to buy.

He also shows how to make vegetables the star of the show with vibrant veg-driven dishes like Whole Roasted Golden Goddess Cauliflower, Veggie Lasagne with Mushroom and Lentil Ragu, and Moroccan Couscous Capsicums.

Full of life, colour and deliciousness, the recipes are boldly flavoured and easy to make. The dish here is simplicity at its best, taking no longer than 10 minutes from start to finish. It makes the perfect light meal in warmer months. For a more substantial bowl, toss the seared tuna through some cooked pasta.

Seared tuna minute steak

Serves 4

4 x 150-160 g tuna steaks

Sea salt flakes and ground black pepper

1/3 cup olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

250 g red grape tomatoes

250 g yellow grape tomatoes

1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped

¼ cup capers, rinsed and drained

Handful flat-parsley leaves, roughly chopped

Handful dill sprigs, roughly chopped

1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve

Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

400 g cooked spaghetti, reserving ½ cup starchy pasta cooking water (optional)

Dried chilli flakes (optional)

Preheat a large non-stick frying pan, char-grill pan or barbecue over high heat.

Season the tuna steaks with salt and pepper and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Cook in batches for 30 seconds on one side and remove from the pan without flipping. If you prefer your tuna well done, cook for 30 seconds each side and then transfer to a plate to rest for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the remaining olive oil to the pan with the garlic, tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook until the tomatoes begin to burst, then add the olives, capers and a crack of pepper. Add the herbs and stir through. To serve the tuna as it is (pictured), spoon the tomatoes over it. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

To serve the tuna with pasta, slice it into thin strips and combine with the cooked spaghetti, tomato and herb sauce, reserved starchy pasta cooking water and a good glug of extra virgin olive oil. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and dried chilli flakes, if you like.

Recipe and images from More Fish, More Veg by Tom Walton, photography by Rob Palmer. Published by Murdoch Books, rrp $39.99.

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