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Zucchini Salad Crowns Jamie Oliver’s Tuna on Roasted Salsa

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How hot do you like your salsa? Use 2 or 3 chiles in the recipe to taste.

Jamie Oliver’s dish isn’t just appropriate for Lent; it is healthful and very colorful.

Tuna on Roasted Salsa

2 to 3 fresh green chiles
2 green bell peppers
1 red onion, peeled and halved
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
3 medium red tomatoes
Juice of 3 limes
Large handful of fresh cilantro
Olive oil

Zucchini salad:
2 zucchini or yellow squash
Handful of fresh mint, leaves picked and chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon

4-by-7 ounce (1-inch thick) pieces of sustainably caught (sushi grade) tuna
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

First get your salsa going. Prick the chiles all over, then, on a hot grill or grill pan, blacken and blister the salsa vegetables. Once nice and black all over, pop them into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and put to one side. Halve and seed the bell peppers and chiles, then peel the skins off the charred veggies. Don’t wash any of these veggies under the tap or you’ll wash away their wonderful flavors.

At this point, get the tuna out of the refrigerator  so it has time to come up to room temperature. Put all your charred vegetables into a food processor. Add lime juice, cilantro, a generous pinch of salt and pepper, and a few good lugs of olive oil, and pulse until it is  the right consistency for you. Have a taste — it’s important to get the flavors right, so add more salt, pepper or lime juice until you’re happy. Put the salsa into a bowl and set aside. Remember to check the seasoning later, as the flavors may change.

Peel the zucchini or squash lengthwise into thin ribbons. If you’ve got big zucchini, avoid the fluffy center. Put these ribbons into a bowl with the mint leaves, then drizzle with a good glug of extra-virgin olive oil and the lemon juice and toss until nicely coated.

Put the grill pan on a high heat and let it get screaming hot. Drizzle the tuna with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper on both sides. Lay it in the hot pan and sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side if you like it blushing like I do, or for a little longer if you prefer.

Put a big spoonful of salsa on each of your plates and lay a piece of tuna on top. Give the zucchini salad a good squeeze of lemon juice and another drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, taste it for seasoning, then plonk a nice handful of ribbons over each piece of tuna. Such fresh flavors.

Makes 4 servings.

From “Jamie’s America” by Jamie Oliver

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