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Seared Tuna with Lemon & Fennel Salad

Serves 6 as a starter

Preparation AND COOKING 30 minutes

Wine Matches Peter Bourne
‍Photography Louise Lister


1 tbsp sea salt flakes
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp black sesame seeds
2 tsp white sesame seeds
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
500g piece tuna loin
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp drained capers
300g green beans, halved lengthways
2 baby cos lettuce, leaves separated
1 baby fennel, sliced thinly

2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sugar
⅓ cup olive oil


1Make lemon dressing. Whisk ingredients in a medium bowl until combined; season to taste.

2Pound salt and fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle until seeds are crushed. Stir in sesame seeds and pepper.

3Brush tuna with 1 tablespoon of the oil; roll in seed mixture. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat; cook tuna for 1 minute each side (rare). Transfer to a board; cut into 5mm slices.

4Heat remaining oil in a small frying pan; cook capers, stirring, for 2 minutes or until crisp.

5Meanwhile, place beans in a medium heatproof bowl; pour boiling water on beans, stand for 1 minute. Drain. Refresh beans in another bowl of iced water; drain.

6Arrange lettuce, fennel and beans on plates, top with tuna and capers. Drizzle with dressing.

TIP: Use a mandolin or V-slicer to shave fennel into thin slices.

Wine Match

2019 Port Phillip Estate Quartier Pinot Noir, Mornington Peninsula, A$27

I love tuna with pinot noir but it must be a bright, lithe and frisky style not an uber-complex style. The Quartier is a good example of the former, with bouncy red fruit flavours, mild mannered tannins and an energising acidity. The fennel adds an aniseed tone to the dish with the seared tuna in perfect tune with the pinot leaving the lemon dressing to parry with the Quartier’s citrusy acidity. Cool the Quartier on a warm day to enhance the duet.