Shameless tinned tuna with aubergine salad and spankingly fresh flatbread

I make absolutely no apologies for using tinned tuna for this recipe. Find a good quality brand – Ortiz, Santa Catarina, or Dumón; buy tuna in oil…ideally olive oil; buy the belly (‘ventresca’) which has more flavour and a good texture; and buy ‘solid’, ‘steaks’ or ‘fillets’ rather than ‘chunks. Then it can really be sublime; whereas bad quality tuna can taste… and even look a bit like, sawdust.

What does really, however, need to be fresh are the flatbreads to go with it – but these are simplicity itself. And the yoghurty-tahini sauce.

Then you have a choice. You can serve this either with a warm aubergine and baby tomato salad; or simply with slices of aubergine griddled with garlic, mint, lemon and oil.

I don’t know why this mix of things go so well together, but they are definitely more than the sum of the parts – the combination is wonderful.

 

Buy the belly of the tuna for extra flavour.
Buy the belly of the tuna for extra flavour.

 

Recipe for shameless tinned tuna with aubergine salad and spankingly fresh flatbread

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 large tin of good quality tuna (see above for what to look for) 250g/8 oz drained weight
  • 1 x 70g/3 oz packet of rocket
  • 1 medium aubergine
  • 1 banana shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and crushed with ½ tsp smoked salt
  • 125g/4 oz cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil – plus more for griddling etc
  • about eight mint leaves
  • juice and zest of half a small lemon
  • 2 tsp runny honey, the bitterer the better
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • salt and a pinch of Urfa pepper flakes
  • yoghurt-based tahini sauce – for the recipe, follow this link
  • freshly made flatbreads – for the recipe, follow this link

Method

  1. If you are making the warm aubergine salad, soak the peeled and chopped shallot in the sherry vinegar.
  2. Oil a ridged griddle, and get it hot. Cut the aubergine into slices about 1 cm/½” thick. Brush with olive oil, and season them. Griddle for about five minutes on each side, until it just begins to char. At this stage you can simply mix the oil, garlic, mint leaves, and lemon zest and juice; and brush again. Keep warm. Or you can cut the aubergine into cubes, and mix with the mix described above, and add the honey, pomegranate molasses and halved baby tomatoes. Add the soaked shallot. Keep warm.
  3. Drain the tuna – but save the oil. Gently warm the tuna.
  4. Make the flatbreads.
  5. While you are making the flatbreads, halve the rocket and drizzle over some lemony oil. Divide the tuna between the two plates, and the aubergine.
  6. Serve with the yoghurt-tahini sauce, and the spankingly fresh flatbreads.

 

tuna and aubergine recipe
Turn the aubergine into a warm salad with some baby tomatoes.

 

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