Fresh and fast

Bart Beek | VOLUME 31, ISSUE 5

With dressings that cure and flavour raw fish or meat, these refreshing dishes are accompanied by fresh ingredients and don’t require any cooking.

Tuna carpaccio with fennel, blood orange and lemon

Carpaccio includes raw, thinly sliced meat or fish and is generally served as an appetiser. The dish is said to have been invented in the 1960s by Giuseppe Cipriani, the founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice, who named it after the 15th-century Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio. Select very fresh tuna purchased on the day you intend to serve it.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4

400g sashimi-grade tuna loin

30ml extra virgin olive oil

½ lemon, juice only

Salt flakes and freshly milled black pepper

1 small lemon, grated zest only

8 slices sourdough bread, toasted

Blood orange salad

1 blood orange, segmented

2 baby fennel, cleaned, trimmed and thinly sliced

30ml white balsamic condiment

¼ tsp Dijon mustard

60ml extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup lemon thyme leaves and tops

½ cup flat-leaf parsley sprigs

¼ tsp salt flakes

Slice the tuna thinly.

Combine the tuna, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Leave in the marinade for five minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the salad ingredients and toss lightly.

Spread the tuna slices onto four chilled plates. Top with some blood orange salad in the centre and garnish with the grated lemon zest, a few grinds of black pepper, a few salt flakes and two toasted slices of sourdough bread.

Prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella and nectarine with mustard-honey dressing

Prosciutto is a hind leg of pork that is salted and dry-cured. It can be eaten as is or lightly cooked to bring out its wonderful flavours. Buffalo mozzarella is a delicious fresh cheese made of the milk of the domestic Italian water buffalo. It’s soft, with a moist-gooey centre.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4

2 white nectarines

2 buffalo mozzarella balls

8 thin slices prosciutto

1 medium red onion, sliced

150g baby rocket


30ml extra virgin olive oil

15ml lime juice

1 small shallot, finely diced

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

Salt flakes and freshly milled black pepper

Cut the nectarines in half, twisting the halves carefully to separate from the seed. Slice into wedges and divide among four plates.

Drain the mozzarella balls and tear into bite-sized pieces. Arrange next to the nectarine wedges along with the prosciutto.

Combine the dressing ingredients. Dress the rocket and red onions separately (keep some of the dressing to finish the plate) and add them to the plates. Finish with a drizzle of extra dressing and some pepper.

Korean-style Beef tartare

Tartare is a dish of finely chopped or minced raw beef, using the highest-quality, freshest produce available. This is a Korean-style version, with a seasoned dressing that’s mixed through chopped beef fillet. A raw egg yolk adds silky texture, while nashi pear adds a lovely contrasting crunch.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 1

200g beef fillet

1 very fresh free-range egg yolk

¼ nashi pear, cut into matchstick-sized pieces

1 small spring onion, cut the same as the pear

½ small carrot, grated into strips

2 sprigs coriander

Freshly milled black pepper


4 tblsps light soy

2 tblsps apple juice

2 tblsps rice-wine vinegar

1 tblsp sesame oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 bird’s eye chilli, halved, seeds removed, sliced

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Finely chop the beef fillet using a sharp knife. Mix with the dressing.

Serve dressed beef in a bowl, topped with the egg yolk, sliced nashi pear and spring onion, grated carrot, coriander and some freshly milled pepper.

Ceviche of Spanish mackerel

Ceviche is a classic dish made with very fresh, raw seafood that’s marinated in citrus juice. The fish only needs to marinate for a few minutes before it’s ready and will gain the texture and appearance of cooked seafood.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4

600g Spanish mackerel fillet

1 lime, juice only

2 limes, halved

4 green pickled chillies, sliced thin

½ tsp salt flakes

½ tsp freshly milled black pepper

2 baby cos lettuce, quartered lengthwise

4 small green zucchini, grated

1 avocado, sliced

½ punnet pea sprouts

40ml extra virgin olive oil

2 nasturtium flowers, petals only, washed

Remove the skin and bones from the Spanish mackerel fillet. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Place into a bowl and dress with the lime juice, green chilli slices and the seasoning. Toss to coat evenly, cover with cling film and marinate for five minutes.

Divide among four bowls the cos lettuce quarters, grated zucchini, avocado slices and pea sprouts. Top with the fish pieces and finish with a lime half, freshly cracked black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and several nasturtium petals.