Tamarillo Salsa with Seared Tuna
They're in season and in shops at the moment, but what are they and what the hell do you do with them?
Originally from South America, they've only been grown in Australia for a little over 10 years. Sometimes referred to as a tree tomato this tart little fruit is great for both sweet and savoury dishes. There are endless examples of recipes for chutney and purees online, but I'm a fan of using them in savoury dishes.
Years ago my aunty Ally used to whip up a tangy salsa with tamarillos and serve it with tuna. I remember thinking it was such a weird ingredient, but really loved it.
When I came across some tamarillos this weekend it took me right back to a night in my family home in Alstonville in far northern New South Wales where Ally made her tamarillo salsa with tuna. I remember mum loving it too. It was the first time we'd ever eaten Ally's creation and we were hooked.
This recipe is my version of the tamarillo salsa and it was damn good. Even if I do say so myself.
Serve it with a beautifully fresh tuna steak, seared perfectly so it's still pink through the centre, and a green salad. You'll be a tamarillo convert just like me.
TAMARILLO SALSA WITH SEARED TUNA
1/4 red onion, diced finely
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Sea salt flakes (I use Maldon)
2-3 fresh Yellowfin tuna steaks
OPTIONAL: Green salad with pearl couscous and rocket pesto to serve
1. Tamarillo Salsa (Steps 1, 2 and 4) - Boil the kettle. Cross the bottom of each tamarillo and place in a glass or ceramic bowl. Cover with the boiling water and allow to 'poach' for 5-10 minutes. This allows the skin to be removed easily. After 5-10 minutes, drain the tamarillos and use a sharp knife to carefully peel the fruit. When peeled dice the tamarillos into 1cm pieces. Place in another bowl.
2. To the diced tamarillo, add the onion, mint and parsley. Set aside. Do not toss together until just before serving.
3. Tuna (Steps 3-4) - Heat a non-stick frypan on a medium high heat. When hot, drizzle the tuna steaks with a little olive oil, a pinch of the sea salt flakes and place oil and salt side down to sear for 1-2 minutes. Keep on the same side until you see the tuna has cooked 1/3 of the way up the side of the steak. When here, drizzle the olive oil on the top side of the tuna and sprinkle with the sea salt before turning the steak over. The tuna is ready when the second side has cooked 1/3 of the way up the side. Turn the heat off, remove the tuna steaks to a plate to rest.
4. To serve - quickly plate the green salad, if you've made one, and toss the tamarillo salsa with a squeeze of lemon, drizzle of olive oil and pinch of sea salt flakes. Lay a tuna steak to the side of the salad and top with the tamarillo salsa. Add a teaspoon sized dollop of rocket pesto if using and serve!
OPTIONAL: Green salad ingredients and the delicious Wild Rocket Pesto by Arlingtons
Grab a fresh Riesling to go with this dish. I absolutely love it when you find a good Riesling. It's one of my favourite wines. If you can get your hands on a bottle of Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling, give it a god as it is lovely. Dan Murphy's has it available instore or online here.
If Riesling isn't your thing, a crisp Sauvignon Blanc will also work wonders.
The tangy taste of the tamarillo and flavours of the salsa will be the perfect pairing for either of these wines, but as with everything, it's best enjoyed with friends!
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