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Spring In My Step – Tuna Carpaccio Random Recipes #31

randomrecipes logoSpring is just around the corner. Can’t you feel it? Balmy, sunny days. One less blanket on the bed. The first rebellious fruit trail-blazing in the garden. Technically it’s still winter in Australia but the mercury is already tipping 24c on a regular basis in sub tropical Brisbane. So, the recipe I selected for this month’s Random Recipes is perfect for the change in season.

This month the theme set by Belleau Kitchen is ‘Grab and Run’. It’s not about something you can grab to eat on your way out the door but instead, about the book you’d grab if you had 10 seconds to save only one cookbook. As Dom puts it ‘which one of my book-babies would I leave behind?’. You’re thinking about that yourself now, aren’t you?

Donna Hay Off the Shelf duo

Nigella is one of my ‘go to’ girls but if I had to take only one book, it would be from that other girl, Donna Hay. I have a number of her books and the early series of her eponymous magazine. She has a no fuss approach to recipes and covers all the basics in volumes such as ‘Modern Classics 1 & 2′.  The book I’d grab and run with though is ‘Off the Shelf – cooking from the pantry‘. It covers pantry staples such as rice, pasta, noodles and pastes, styles such as Asian and Mediterranean as well as sections for sweet tooth. There’s a section at the back with how to basics such as stock and pastries as well as a short glossary for more unusual ingredients. Recipes are simple and generally made in less than half a dozen steps making it perfect for mid-week inspiration. Every recipe has a ‘finished meal’ picture and as Donna was a food stylist before her empire blossomed, they are all inviting. Donna’s rustic and vintage aesthetic was ahead of the curve by years and is one of the reasons her magazines and books are so popular. This would be the ideal book for new cooks or those leaving home for the first time.

Donna + Fiona


Using the random number generator, I alighted on page 107. The Tuna Carpaccio recipe highlights that fresh ingredients can turn a simple meal into a treat and something to look forward to. My finished tuna doesn’t look as zooshy as Donna’s but then again, I’m not a food stylist. With temperatures on the rise this is the perfect lunch to welcome the first kiss of spring.

Tuna Carpaccio w Crispy Caper Dressing

  • 300g fresh tuna, thinly sliced
  • 200g green beans, blanched
  • 150g rocket
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp salted capers, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest, finely grated
  • 2tbsp dill sprigs, roughly chopped
  • cracked black pepper
  • Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add oil, capers and lemon zest.
  • Cook for 4 minutes or until crisp
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add salt and pepper. Allow to cool.
  • Place the rocket, beans and tuna on serving plates and pour dressing over
  • Serve with lemon wedges if desired
Serves: 4
12 comments… add one
  • Robert Light August 20, 2013, 8:16 pm

    It feels like winter again in Brisbane today. But I do like Donna's recipes. Very straight forward and practical.

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! August 20, 2013, 10:43 pm

      Yes – I thought Spring was here. It was this morning but it will be chilly tonight. I know you always visit but thanks for commenting too!

  • belleau kitchen August 21, 2013, 12:31 am

    loving time zones and the southern hemisphere… it's turning to Autumn here now of course so it's so odd to read those words!… love Donna Hay but don't have this book… loving this challenge this month too, so many new books and fab reasons for keeping them… love love love a bit of tuna carpaccio too, glorious entry, thank you x

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! August 21, 2013, 12:22 pm

      I often give this book as a gift – it's got a bit of everything. Although I use this book quite frequently I would never have made this carpaccio as there would be so many other favourites to go back to so that's the beauty of RR challenges.

  • Phil in the Kitchen August 21, 2013, 7:34 am

    Tuna carpaccio is such a lovely dish and, of course, Ms Hay does it well. I wish we were heading for spring here but it was a fine summer day today so I'm not complaining. In fact, perfect weather for a carpaccio

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! August 21, 2013, 12:24 pm

      Finding fresh tuna was not that easy but I did find a great fishmonger (Fish Factory Lytton Rd for those reading from Brisbane) that had not one but two choices of tuna. I went for the slightly cheaper grade rather than the $50kg A+ sashimi grade. Thanks for visiting Phil.

  • Jan Rhoades August 21, 2013, 8:32 am

    Hmm..a change of tune about the weather this morning! Did you have to put on your gloves whilst waiting forthe bus?

    Love your choice. Looks great.

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! August 21, 2013, 12:26 pm

      Yes, it was chilly this morning but nowhere near as cold as our Nation's Capital which is where I will be next week. You and I both know though, that the mornings are cool but the days are glorious (though the plants want a drink).

  • Anonymous August 21, 2013, 12:31 pm

    I remember you and Anthony visiting us at Wavell Heights (about a week or so after Oscar being born) with a 'peach and raspberry tart' from off the shelf. Michelle.

    PS. Had a 2004 Rockford Basket Press with a sausage sizzle the other night. It was amazing.

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! August 21, 2013, 3:59 pm

      Yes – I love that tart and still make it all the time. It's my 'go to' of all birthday, party, dinner, afternoon tea cakes. I've also made it with chopped up snickers bars to very versatile. Quite some time since those days in Wavell Heights!

  • Alison September 1, 2013, 7:55 am

    What a lovely way to serve tuna

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