Escabeche of yellowfin tuna with aubergine purée and herbs

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Escabeche is a Mediterranean dish also found in Latin American cooking incorporating marinated fish with vegetables and herbs. The Galvin brothers use yellowfin tuna in this glorious seafood starter recipe, a fish which works particularly well in sashimi or seared and served rare as it is in this dish. A popular starter on the menus across their restaurant empire, the Galvin brothers have chosen this as one of their Dishes of the Decade.

First published in 2015




Yellowfin tuna

For the escabeche

For the tuna marinade

For the aubergine purée

For the vinaigrette

For the herb salad


  • Food processor or blender


Begin by preparing the escabeche. Slice the carrots 1mm thick at a 45-degree angle, using a mandolin if you have one. Put the carrot slices into a heavy-based pan, add 100ml of the olive oil and cook gently for 5 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the onions and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the onions have begun to collapse
Add the white wine, vinegar, coriander seeds, saffron and the rest of the olive oil to the pan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 11/2 hours.Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper
For the tuna marinade, put the water in a pan along with the salt and sugar and heat, stirring constantly, until dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then stir in the coriander, pepper and lemon. Leave to cool completely, then chill
Place the tuna pieces into the marinade and leave for 11/2 hours. Remove from the marinade and rinse under cold water, then pat dry with kitchen paper. Wrap each piece of tuna tightly in cling film to form a sausage shape and chill for a further 1 hour
Heat a non-stick frying pan until very hot and add the olive oil, then unwrap the tuna, season with salt and pepper and add it to the hot pan. Sear the tuna all over – this should only take about 20 seconds on each side, rolling it constantly in the pan
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
Once seared transfer the tuna to kitchen paper to drain. Spread the outside of the tuna with the Dijon mustard to give a thin coating and then roll it in the chopped herbs. Wrap each piece tightly in cling film again to form a sausage and tie with string at both ends. Place in the fridge for at least 3 hours to firm up
For the aubergine purée, cut the aubergine lengthwise in half, score the flesh in a criss-cross fashion and insert the garlic slices. Place cut-side down on a hot griddle pan and cook for 5–8 minutes, until the flesh is almost black
Transfer the aubergines to a baking tray lined with foil, drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Place in an oven preheated to 160°C/Gas Mark 3. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool
Scoop out the flesh and purée in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a mixing bowl and whisk in the crème fraîche, lemon juice and cumin. Season to taste with salt and pepper
To make the vinaigrette whisk together the vinegar, mustard and seasoning in a small bowl. Gradually add the olive and groundnut oils until fully combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required, then set aside until needed. If making in advance remember to shake the dressing thoroughly before using
When ready to plate up stir the escabeche well and place a large tablespoon of it in the middle of each plate, followed by a teaspoon of the aubergine purée on the side. Slice the tuna with a sharp serrated knife into 3mm-thick discs, allowing 5 per portion (remember to remove the cling film after you have cut the discs) and arrange the tuna slices neatly on top of the escabeche
Toss the frisée and herbs in the vinaigrette in a separate bowl and arrange the dressed salad at the top of each plate. Take a little of the coriander cress and place on top of the tuna, then drizzle a little of the remaining liquid from the escabeche around the plate to serve
First published in 2015

Chris and Jeff Galvin have spearheaded the revival of high quality French bistro cuisine in the UK, offering affordable luxury, family hospitality and ingredient-led, seasonal menus across their restaurant empire.

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