Fennel, orange and olive salad with oil-poached tuna
The flavours in this salad are so vibrant they'll disarm anyone! It works beautifully with just about any seafood; use tinned tuna if you want to make it really simple but be sure it is a brand that supports sustainability. If you do poach fresh tuna, prepare a day ahead for best flavour.
A fresh, vibrant side to any winter dish: Fennel, orange and olive salad with tuna. Photo: William Meppem
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For the tuna
400ml extra virgin olive oil (approx)
3 thyme sprigs
2 unpeeled whole garlic cloves
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp white peppercorns
300g piece raw tuna
For the dressing
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the salad
2 baby fennel
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 baby radishes
1 small orange
1 tbsp roughly chopped dill
small handful baby mint leaves
3/4 cup de-seeded Kalamata olives
FOR THE TUNA, place the olive oil in a saucepan with thyme, garlic, fennel seeds and peppercorns. Very gently heat the oil (ensure there is enough oil to completely cover the tuna) and just before boiling point - when tiny bubbles start appearing - add in tuna, then turn off the heat. The tuna cooks slowly as the oil goes to room temperature.
ALLOW THE TUNA TO COOL, then leave it in the oil and place in the fridge overnight.
FOR THE DRESSING, whisk all ingredients until combined, and season with sea salt to taste.
FOR THE SALAD, trim and finely slice baby fennel and mix with lemon juice to prevent discolouration. Finely slice the radishes into rounds. Peel and segment the orange.
LIFT THE TUNA from the oil and carefully flake into bite-sized chunks. Mix all salad ingredients together with the dressing and serve immediately.
Photography: William Meppem, Jennifer Soo. Styling: Hannah Meppem. Food preparation: Nick Banbury.