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.