Raw tuna, capsicum and eggplant salad recipe

Neil Perry
Goodbye poke, hello tuna and eggplant salad.
Goodbye poke, hello tuna and eggplant salad. Photo: William Meppem
Dietary
Gluten-free

Intense flavours bring out the best in this simple salad, perfect for lazy days and warmer weather.

Ingredients

For the red pepper oil

2 large red capsicums

2 tsp sea salt

100ml extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice, plus extra to serve

400g sashimi-grade tuna

olive oil

For the eggplant salad

1 eggplant, sliced into 1cm rounds

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup olive oil

2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 vine-ripened tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and diced

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste

Method

To make the red pepper oil preheat oven to 220C. Roast one capsicum on an oven tray lined with baking paper for 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until blackened. Place in a bowl and cover with cling wrap for about 10 minutes. Slice the other capsicum and de-seed. Put though a juice extractor to obtain the juice and discard the fibre. Alternatively, use a blender and press through a fine sieve.

Peel and de-seed the blackened capsicum, julienne the flesh and place in small pot. Add the capsicum juice and a pinch of sea salt. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the olive oil, lower the heat and allow to stew for 10 minutes. Add 2 tbsp of lemon juice and allow to cool.

To make the braised eggplant salad, salt the eggplant and leave for an hour. Wash and dry with paper towel. In a large frying pan over high heat, add a quarter cup of olive oil. Shallow-fry the eggplant in two batches until dark brown on both sides (6 to 8 minutes for each batch). Add another quarter cup of oil and fry remaining eggplant. Transfer to a bowl. Put the remaining oil to the pan and when it's hot, about 160C, add parsley and fry until crisp, about 1 minute. Do stand back as the oil can spit.

Remove the parsley and drain on a paper towel. Adjust heat to medium, add tomatoes and cumin to the oil and stir for 2 to 3 minutes to cook out the spices. Return the eggplant to the pan, stir for 1 minute. Add the remaining lemon juice and season to taste. Keep warm. Cut the tuna into 2cm pieces.

Spoon eggplant salad onto plates, top with the tuna and roasted capsicum, drizzle with red pepper oil, add a squeeze of lemon and grind of pepper, scatter with parsley and serve.