Friday, 13 December 2013

New-Potato Salad with Avocado, Wasabi and Seared Tuna

Are you expecting a horde of hungry guests over the festive season?  Here's my light, bright twist on everyone’s favourite salad: tender baby potatoes combined with mayonnaise, creamy avocado and nose-zapping wasabi paste, then topped with a shower of snipped chives and strips of seared tuna.

New-Potato Salad with Avocado, Wasabi and Seared Tuna
New-Potato Salad with Avocado, Wasabi and Seared Tuna. Photograph by
  Michael Le Grange, courtesy of Random House Struik

This crowd-pleasing recipe, from my book Scrumptious, is  a great way of stretching just a little tuna between many mouths, and you can leave it out entirely if you’re not in the mood mood for seafood, or you’re serving vegetarians.

You can make the potato salad well in advance, but add the avocado cubes, and sear the tuna, just before you serve it.

New-Potato Salad with Avocado, Wasabi and Seared Tuna

1.5 kg new potatoes
1 Tbsp (15 ml) salt
4 ripe Hass or Fuerte avocados
3 Tbsp (45 ml) olive or sunflower oil
4 fresh tuna steaks, weighing about 500 g
1⁄3 cup (80 ml) finely snipped fresh chives

For the dressing:

½  onion, peeled and very finely chopped or grated
juice of 2 small lemons
1½  tsp (7.5 ml) white sugar
1 cup (250 ml) home-made mayonnaise or Hellman’s original
1 cup (250 ml) thick natural yoghurt
1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed
3–4 tsp (15–20 ml) wasabi paste, or more, to taste
1 tsp (5 ml) Tabasco sauce
salt and freshly milled black pepper

Cook the potatoes in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water for 10–15 minutes, or
until quite tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, but not splitting or
falling apart. Drain in a colander, then cut each potato in half (leave the smallest
ones whole).

To make the dressing, combine the grated onion, lemon juice and sugar in a large
mixing bowl and set aside for 5 minutes (the lemon juice will take the sting out
of the onions). Whisk in the mayonnaise, yoghurt, garlic, wasabi and Tabasco and
season to taste with salt and pepper.

Peel the avocados, cut them into large cubes and immediately add them to the
dressing. Tip in the warm cooked potatoes and toss very gently to combine.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and, when it’s blazing hot but not smoking, fry
the tuna steaks, in batches, for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until nice and toasty
on the outside but still rosy pink inside. Season with salt, pepper and a spritz of
lemon juice.

Tip the potato salad into a large serving bowl and scatter over the chives. Slice
the tuna and arrange the slices around the edge of the salad. Serve at room

Serves 8.

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