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Tuna Carpaccio with Watercress Salad and Balsamic Dressing

Tuna Carpaccio with Watercress Salad and Balsamic Dressing

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  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound sushi-grade ahi tuna steaks, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons thinly sliced fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) watercress sprigs (about 2 ounces)

Recipe Preparation

  • Combine vinegar and mustard in small bowl; whisk in 4 tablespoons olive oil. Season dressing to taste with sea salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.

  • Place 1 sheet of plastic wrap on damp work surface (to prevent plastic from slipping). Arrange 1/4 of tuna squares 1 inch apart in circle on plastic. Cover with second sheet of plastic. Using flat side of mallet, gently pound tuna squares until they are very thin and form an 8- to 9-inch solid round. Place tuna round, still in plastic, on plate. Form 3 more rounds with remaining tuna. Refrigerate tuna carpaccio at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

  • Peel 1 plastic sheet from each tuna carpaccio round; invert onto plates and peel off remaining plastic. Brush each with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then sprinkle with lemon juice, chives, shallot, sea salt, and pepper. Toss watercress and 2 tablespoons dressing in medium bowl; season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Mound watercress atop and serve.

,Photos by Pornchai MittongtareReviews Section

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Here's a veggie take on classic carpaccio. Chioggia beets would also be bea .

Tuna Carpaccio With Watercress Salad And Balsamic .

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Active time: 40 min Start to finish: 2 1/2 hr

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Tuna Carpaccio with Watercress Salad and Balsamic Dressing - Recipes

Carpaccio (beef) and crudo (seafood) are easy to make, and present themselves as a sophisticated dish that took you a lot longer to prepare. If you eat sushi, sashimi, steak tartare and other raw preparations, it’s a dish you can easily make at home.

From the earliest times, fishermen have eaten their catch on board, without cooking it.

Before man learned to make fire, some 350,000 years ago, the catch was de facto eaten raw.

The tradition continues today. Fishermen bring a bit of salt and/or citrus, and enjoy the rustic version of carpaccio, crudo, poke or sashimi: brethren raw fish dishes.

While crudo has been eaten for millennia, carpaccio is a modern dish, created in Venice in 1963, at the time of an exhibition dedicated to Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio (1465-1526).
Here’s a list of raw fish dishes.


Don’t worry if you can’t keep these straight: We saw a dish called carpaccio at New York City’s top seafood restaurant, that was clearly tiradito (with sauce and chile garnishes).


Tailor this recipe to your preferences. For example, you can replace the conventional olive oil drizzle with flavored olive oil, add the Italian-style shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, add balsamic vinegar, use a Dijon vinaigrette, etc.

You can add as much salad on top as you like…or none at all. If adding a mound of salad, dress it very lightly (we like lemon vinaigrette—half vinegar, half lemon [or lime] juice) before topping the fish.

Ingredients For 4 Servings


1. Combine vinegar and mustard in small bowl whisk in 4 tablespoons olive oil. Season dressing to taste with sea salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover chill.

2. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a damp work surface (the moisture prevents the plastic from slipping).

Arrange the tuna slices on the plastic as you would like them to be on the plate (this makes plating them easy). Cover with a second sheet of plastic wrap.

3. USING the flat side of a mallet, gently pound the fish slices until they are to your desired thinness. Do this in batches as necessary.

Refrigerate the fish in the plastic for at least 30 minutes, and up to 4 hours.

3. ASSEMBLE: Remove the top plastic sheet from each serving of fish and place a plate upside-down on top of the fish.

Invert the fish onto the plate and peel off the remaining plastic. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with a bit of sea salt, chives and pepper.

Toss watercress and 2 tablespoons dressing in medium bowl season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

4. MOUND the salad greens on top and serve.


[2] Octopus crudo at Katsuya | Los Angeles.

[3] Salmon crudo from Mihoko’s 21 Grams | NYC.

[4] Squid crudo from Njam! TV.

[5] You can top carpaccio or crudo with as much salad as you like (photo of carpaccio courtesy Cooking Channel TAV).

Irritating Gordon

There are a few reasons why out of the 50 dishes in 3 Star Chef I chose to start with this one. It stood out from the rest with its bold and seemingly simple presentation and the ingredients should be easy enough to find. Plus, I wouldn’t need to buy any kitchen equipment and I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE sashimi. So it was settled and we were off to Sydney Fish Market on a sunny Sunday afternoon to get the ingredients.

I live about a 10 minute walk from what I think must be one of the best Fish Markets in the world, certainly the best in Australia, and maybe only rivalled by this one in Japan. We go there regularly, to either hit up the Yum Cha restaurant above the market or engorge ourselves on freshly shucked oysters, or to purchase WAY more than seafood than we could possibly eat in one sitting, but inevitably do. Everytime we go there, we always wander around marvelling at the days catch and every single time we go there I always stand in De Costi’s point at a swordfish at least a metre long and say “Look at the size of that swordfish!”

Except not on this occasion, the one time I actually wanted to purchase some swordfish. THANKS FISHERMEN WHAT AM I SPOSE TO DO NOW, HUH?

Of course I instantly took this as a sign of failure, moaning to Adam that it’s just not meant to be and I’ll start over next week. He placated me and we searched the market again, eventually finding about half a dozen swordfish steaks on ice in one of the display cabinets.

The dish called for 600g swordfish, centre-cut.

After much to-ing and fro-ing about what a centre-cut actually is and cursing my lack of research, I decided to just ask. Genius. The girl serving the fish looked at me blankly, so I asked for the best two steaks and with the whitest looking meat and left it at that.

Turns out centre cut of a fish, means a cut from the middle part of the fish, not the tail, because the meat is of better quality. Should’ve looked it up before I went. Lesson learnt. Not like I had a choice on this occasion anyway, CURSE YOU FISHERMEN. Hmm, on second thoughts, I better be nice to to the Fisherman Gods as I’m going to need them to be good to me later in this project.

The tuna was easy to get, althought not the best selection as it was getting kind of late in the day. Still awesome though. Then I couldn’t find baby chard leaves so I got watercress instead and I was lucky enough to get the last daikon (long white radish) at the market. I even found an el-cheapo $15 jar of black caviar to replace the $250 Oscietra Caviar recommended by the G-man.

Here are all the ingredients back home and ready to go. If you have the book the recipe is on page 146.

First I placed the fish in the freezer for a few hours to firm it up enough to cut some nice neat logs. Not quite as nice and neat as I had hoped – I think I might need some new knives for this project. Then the logs got wrapped together and frozen for a much longer time until I needed them later.

Next I sliced the daikon on the mandolin ready to be marinated….

And then combined the ingredients of the marinade until bubbling – soy sauce, sesame oil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and shallots – I can tell you this smelled absolutely divine and would be a great marinade or dipping sauce for the tuna on its own.

Once cooled, I spread it over the daikon, covered it with Glad-wrap and left it to marinate for a few hours. Then I sat on the couch and watched TV for a bit as I was still recovering from attending this party the night before.

A while later, about an hour before we wanted to eat I was up for the challenge of the brown butter sauce, really the only bit of “cooking” in this recipe. I caremelized the butter in a saucepan and attempted to drain off the liquid leaving the residue behind.

That then got whizzed with the cream, some lemon juice and some olive oil until thick consistency. The book says blitz for 20 seconds but it took me about 5 or 6 times that to get the right consistency. I reserved the sauce in a squeezy bottle in a pan of luke warm water ready for plating up.

The fish in the freezer was now rock hard (and a little wonky) but more or less ready to go.

Then sharpened my knife and started slicing. They say in the book that they use a meat slicer to do this in the restaurant, so I was a bit worried, but my crappy knife worked fine and the fish held together well.

To say I was impressed with my presentation on this would be a massive understatement. I was ecstatic with the way it turned out.

Taste wise, well, disappointingly I wasn’t that thrilled. It just didn’t have the freshness of real sashimi after it had been pushed, pulled, frozen and thawed to get to the plate in that state. The marinated daikon was totally bomb, the brown butter sauce slightly too lemony (my fault) and the caviar a bit cheap tasting (no surprise there).

If I made this again, I wouldn’t bother with the checkerboard presentation. I’d simply prepare the marinated daikon before hand, whip up some brown butter dressing and serve with freshly sliced sashimi.

Salad wraps

Make your own café-style wrap - they are so easy to make and are delicious.


2 large wraps or 2 pieces tortilla or flat bread suitable for wraps
2 Tbsp cream cheese, mayonnaise, chutney or hummus spread
4 slices shaved ham
3-4 salad leaves, or spinach, watercress or mesclun leaves
½ red or green capsicum, deseeded and sliced
½ small cucumber, sliced into sticks
1 carrot, sliced into thin strips


Spread both wraps or flat breads lightly with cream cheese or hummus.
Arrange ham and lettuce evenly over both pieces of bread, then add capsicum, cucumber and carrot with most at one end.
Roll up firmly, starting at the end with most filling.
The cream cheese or spread helps to hold the wrap together, so make sure there is some along the last end to be rolled up.

Use this basic technique as a starting point and experiment with different salad vegetables such as celery, tomato, sprouts, baby spinach or avocado. Cooked meats or cheese can be used instead of ham.

Salmon Carpaccio

1 Rinse the watercress in several changes of cool water. Remove the tough stems and dry the leaves thoroughly. Tear into bite-size pieces and place them in a bowl.

2 In a bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of oil, lemon juice, zest, and salt and pepper to taste.

3 Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add just enough fish as will fit in a single layer. Cook until lightly browned on the bottom, yet still rare on top, about 1 minute. With a large spatula, remove the salmon from the skillet and turn it browned-side up onto a large serving platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and half of the green onion. Cook the remaining salmon in the same way and add it to the platter. Top with the remaining onion.

4 Toss the watercress with the dressing. Pile the salad on top of the salmon. Serve immediately.

From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Nutritional Facts:

This Salmon Carpaccio recipe is from the Cook'n in Italy Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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Lucy Waverman: 10 simple no-cook recipes to make the most of end-of-summer produce

This article was published more than 6 months ago. Some information in it may no longer be current.

iStockPhoto / Getty Images

Cooking in summer should be uncomplicated. But we still must put food on the table, so I look for effortless recipes that can be put together without turning on the oven or the stove.

Soups are the easiest. A high-speed blender makes it simple, but a food processor works, too. Salads are another option, and given local produce is excellent right now, it should be put to good use.

Tomatoes are the pinnacle of summer eating. Bursting with flavour and juiciness, they should be eaten out of hand over the sink, but I have included a couple of recipes that feature them – one for a no-cook soup and one for the perfect tomato salad.

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Other easy no-cook options include charcuterie. Try bresaola carpaccio, a riff on the raw beef version. Store-bought barbecue chicken is a boon as well. Use pieces of it to top a Cobb or panzanella salad or strip the skin and bones and use it for grain bowls or mixed with cold noodles.

And as a lazy dessert-maker, no-cook treats are top of my list all year!

Skip to a recipe:

Watermelon shooters

Fruit-based soups are easy to make and are extremely popular when they are not sweet and don’t taste like dessert. This recipe could be served as a shooter or a cold soup. Sauvignon blanc has an acidic edge and citrus flavour and balances beautifully with the watermelon, but you can use other white wine or Prosecco. This serves four as a soup, but when served in shooter glasses, it makes enough for eight.

  • 1 ½ lb. seedless watermelon, cut into cubes (about 4 to 5 cups/1.5 L)
  • ½ cup Sauvignon Blanc or other white wine
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Thai basil or mint

Place watermelon, wine, ginger, lime juice and lime rind in a blender and process until liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill until ready to serve.

Combine jalapeño and Thai basil or mint. Pour watermelon mixture in shooter glasses and garnish with jalapeño and herb mixture.

Creamy cucumber and arugula soup

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A cold soup served in individual mugs makes a good first course with little cleanup. This soup is a winner for this type of presentation. It’s quick, easy and creamy without the added calories of whipping cream.

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 2 cups packed arugula, thick stems removed
  • 2 cups chopped escarole or other lettuce
  • ½ cup chopped Spanish or sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or basil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 ounces baby shrimp, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup cooked baby shrimp, optional
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Peel strips from cucumber, leaving some skin intact. Chop cucumber coarsely and place in a food processor or blender.

Add arugula, escarole, onion, mint, tarragon and lemon juice. Purée until smooth. Stir in buttermilk. Season with salt and pepper.

Chill well. Garnish with baby shrimp if desired and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

The best tomato salad

For those few juicy weeks when tomatoes are at their best, we indulge in nightly tomato treats. I believe tomatoes should be served simply when they are this good. Later in the year is the time to roast or grill them. Now, they are vibrant, warm from the sun, sliced and drizzled with the best olive oil and sea salt you have. No acid is ever needed with great tomatoes – they have enough on their own.

  • 4 juicy ripe tomatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
  • Additions
  • Buffalo mozzarella or Burrata cheese
  • Sliced Vidalia or red onions
  • Pesto
  • Crumbled ricotta

Slice tomatoes and lay on a platter. Sprinkle with salt, olive oil and a grind of pepper.

Serve as is, or with any of the additions mentioned.

Fresh no-cook tomato soup

An intense hit of tomato, this is fresh and palate-pleasing. I loved this soup in the test kitchen I think it is the best chilled tomato soup I have ever had.

  • 2 lbs. fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Salad for topping
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 2 green onions, white part only, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon chopped Thai red chili or a pinch chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup toasted fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Grana Padano

Puree chopped tomatoes in a blender. Push through a coarse sieve with the back of a ladle. Discard any remaining pulp. Season the tomato juice with fish sauce and pepper.

Mix cherry tomatoes with green onions, chili, mint, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide soup between four bowls. Spoon ¼ cup tomato salad into centre of each bowl and garnish with bread crumbs and Grana Padano.

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Provençal tuna and white bean salad

Tarragon and basil are a good herb combination because they both have a liquorice edge. In this easy, no-cook dish, the ingredients are tossed together and bound with a tarragon dressing. If you have fresh tuna left over from another meal, use it instead of the canned. Serve with focaccia and some good olive oil. Sustainable tuna is readily available today and a better buy than regular. I buy roasted red peppers at the supermarket.

  • 1 can solid white tuna, drained, preferably sustainable
  • 1 cup white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted red pepper
  • 1 cup chopped pitted black olives
  • ¾ cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 6 cups mixed salad greens
  • Tarragon mayonnaise
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried
  • 2 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Break tuna into large flakes. Toss gently with beans, peppers, olives, onion and half the basil in a bowl.

Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, tarragon, and anchovy fillets. Mixture should be thick enough to coat a spoon. Season with salt and pepper

Toss half of dressing with the tuna mixture. Place salad greens on platter or 4 plates.

Mound tuna salad on top. Sprinkle with remaining basil and drizzle with remaining dressing.

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Zucchini ribbons with prosciutto, parmesan and pistachios

Another pretty, no-cook salad that makes an excellent main course when served with good bread and a side of Italian cheese, such as Taleggio or Gorgonzola. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the zucchini or a mandolin for even thinner slices. If the prosciutto is thinly sliced, it looks more attractive.

  • 3 zucchini, about 1 lb.
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 2 cups watercress, tough stalks removed
  • 2 ounces shaved Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
  • ¼ cup slivered basil leaves
  • Dressing
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallot
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Shave zucchini lengthwise with a vegetable peeler or mandolin. Place in a strainer and sprinkle with salt. Allow to drain. Pile on to a platter.

Slice prosciutto into shreds. Top zucchini with watercress, then prosciutto, parmesan, pistachios and basil leaves. Puree mustard, tomatoes, and lemon juice with a hand blender or in a food processor.

Slowly pour in olive oil, continuing to puree. Add shallots and pulse until some chunks remain. Season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle half of the dressing over salad, serving the remainder separately. Pile the salad high on 4 plates for an attractive presentation. Otherwise let people help themselves.

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Mango chicken salad

A quick, lively salad with summery vegetables. This Thai-inspired recipe would be made with green mango if it were truly authentic. However, I like the sweetness of the ripe mango with the citrus of the sauce. If mangoes are not available, try peaches.

  • 1 small barbecue chicken, skin and bones removed, or leftover chicken
  • 1 mango, peeled and slivered
  • 1 cup snow peas, slivered
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • ½ cup green onions, slivered
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Garnish
  • 3 cups baby spinach

Shred chicken into strips and place in a bowl. Add mango, snow peas, bean sprouts and green onions and toss to combine.

Whisk together lime juice, lime rind, rice vinegar, vegetable oil, sesame oil, hoisin, and soy in a separate bowl. Season to taste with salt.

Toss three-quarters of dressing with salad. Place spinach on a platter, toss with remaining dressing and place salad on top.

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Bresaola and mushroom carpaccio

Bresaola is air-dried beef made from the top round cut. It is salted and cured for a number of months. Thinly sliced for eating, it is amazingly tender.

The garnishing of this dish is like raw beef carpaccio. For finishing salt, use Maldon or Fleur de Sel or any slightly coarser-grained salt that you like. Pink Himalayan salt also looks attractive on this.

  • 8 ounces sliced bresaola
  • 6 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Finishing salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoon parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Handful of watercress or arugula

Arrange bresaola slices loosely on a platter. Toss mushroom slices with olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish bresaola with mushrooms, parmesan, parsley, and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Scatter with watercress.

Peach and sesame mousse

An easy dessert with just enough sweetness to satisfy cravings. Use any stone fruit, including mangoes. Top with blueberries or raspberries instead of peaches and use all the peaches in the yogurt mixture if you wish. Serve with a pretty cookie on the side.

  • 2 1/2 peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

Place peeled peaches in food processor and purée with lime rind, juice, and sugar.

Add yogurt and mascarpone to food processor. Pulse until mixture is combined. Gently stir in sesame seeds.

Spoon mixture into wine glasses and top with some unpeeled chopped peaches.

How to Make Carpaccio

There are a couple of ways of making carpaccio. For beef, which is the usual type, start with a beef sirloin or tenderloin. Be sure to get the highest quality of meat available at your local store and you can inform your butcher the cut is for carpaccio. Beef carpaccio is a delicacy you can enjoy at home with these simple steps:

  • First, trim all the fat off of the meat. Even though the whole essence of carpaccio is that its raw meat, some chefs will sear the meat on all sides, just to give it a bit more flavor. This step isn't necessary or even all that common.
  • The next step is to season the meat with salt and pepper, chopped fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, or cilantro are all good options) and perhaps a splash of balsamic vinegar before wrapping it with plastic and chilling it for at least 8 hours.
  • After the sealed meat has had a chance to thoroughly chill, you can proceed with slicing the meat. Carpaccio meat is typically sliced very, very thin. It's possible to do this by hand if you have a very sharp knife and excellent knife skills. But more likely, an electric meat slicer would be the way to go. It can also help to chill the meat in a freezer for 30 minutes or so before slicing. You don't want it frozen solid—just enough to slightly harden the meat and make the meat easier to slice.

Beef carpaccio is usually served with capers, onions, olive oil, and lemon juice, along with possibly some shaved parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley.

Note that some recipes will call for the meat to be pounded thin, which is another way of doing it, especially with a lesser cut of meat, but the preferred technique is to use a good cut of beef and slice it thin.

Recipe Variations

While beef is the classic carpaccio protein, there are many ways to get creative with other types of carpaccio dishes. Some ideas include:

Watch the video: Chefs Signature Dish: Tuna Carpaccio by Chef Mauro Altea of Simply Italian (June 2022).


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