Tuna with herbs and lemon sauce

This dish is often made in Algeria with the pickled or preserved lemons that are common to the whole of North Africa. They are heavily salted lemons preserved in either brine or olive oil, but for the purposes of this dish, I think that fresh lemons that you lightly salt before using them make a very satisfactory alternative. The fresh tuna steaks that the recipe uses are readily available these days in fishmongers and supermarket counters all over Britain. Tinned tuna just won't do; if you can't find fresh tuna use a firm white fish like haddock or hake. As the fish is filleted before being cooked, rice goes very well with this dish and absorbs the lovely lemony flavours very well.



2 large lemons
1 tbsp salt
4 x 6oz Tuna steaks
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp paprika
salt and pepper
2 tbsp each of chopped coriander and parsley



Cut the lemons into fine slices and put in a colander and sprinkle salt over. Leave for 15 minutes. Rinse the salt off quickly but not too thoroughly.

Put half the chopped lemons into the bottom of a baking dish and lay the slices of tuna on top. Sprinkle it with the finely chopped coriander and paprika and season generously with salt and pepper. Put the remaining lemons on top and pour the olive oil over the dish.

Bake in a very hot oven, 450F/220C/200C fan oven, top of the Aga, Gas Mark 8, for about 15-20 minutes until the fish is cooked. You may want to baste it with the juices once during the cooking.

Serve without the bottom layer of lemon and with the freshly chopped parsley sprinkled over the top.