Navajas al Ajillo (Razor Clams Garlic Style)
Courtesy of Miguel Maestre from his book, 'Spanish Cooking'.
600g piece tuna loin, trimmed
150g baby green beans, trimmed
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
250g baby roma (plum) or grape tomatoes, halved
40g (2/3 cup) alfalfa sprouts
3 French shallots (eschalots), thinly sliced
1 head of radicchio, outer leaves removed, trimmed and finely shredded
20g (1 cup) (loosely packed) mint leaves
2 Tbs olive oil
4 free-range eggs, soft boiled (see note)
80 ml (1/3 cup) light soy sauce
55g (1/4 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
2 tsp wasabi paste (or hot English mustard if you don't like wasabi)
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbs finely chopped chervil
60mL (1/4 cup) olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the marinade, whisk the soy sauce, sugar and wasabi in a bowl. Add the tuna and coat well. Cover and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 5 hours or overnight if time permits.
Remove the tuna from the marinade and stand for 20 minutes, or until the tuna reaches room temperature.
Meanwhile, to make the dressing, whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside.
Blanch the beans in a saucepan of well-salted boiling water for 40 seconds, then drain and refresh in iced water. Drain again and cut in half lengthways. Place in a large bowl with the chickpeas, tomatoes, alfalfa, shallots, radicchio and mint.
Heat the olive oil in a medium heavy-based frying pan over high heat.
Season the tuna all over and cook on each side for 30 seconds — the tuna should be golden on the outside but rare and vibrant red in the centre. Rest on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then thinly slice with a very sharp knife.
Add just enough dressing to lightly coat the salad, then season to taste and divide among four serving plates. Top with the sliced tuna, then carefully break the eggs in half and place on top of each salad.
Photo Credits: Alan Benson & Ben Dearnley