A salad to impress – Tuna Caesar with anchovies & cavolo nero

This is a salad that is definitely not your average side. Scrumptious, rich, full of texture and flavour. If you want to impress with something that is not too long to prepare, but gives a “wow” effect, this salad is the way to go.

Tuna Caesar with anchovies & cavolo nero

Cavolo nero. A very interesting vegetable that has never been taken into consideration in my kitchen until I started following MasterChef. Then this sturdy leaves from the cabbage family started to appear in loads of recipes. And on the fridge shelves of the local supermarket. So why not including it in some of my dishes?

This is the recipe I’m following today (well, kind of): Tuna Caesar with anchovies & cavolo nero | BBC Good Food. You know me by now. Looking forward to preparing a dish, but skipping the grocery shopping part haha! So yeah, this is my take to this recipe. It needs to be refined for sure, but it’s not a bad start!

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 thick slices bread
  • 3 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle to serve
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tuna steaks (about 200g)
  • 2 anchovy fillets packed in oil
  • 1 heaped teaspoon garlic purée (or 1 garlic clove, crushed)
  • 1 tub low fat yogurt (125g)
  • 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • few drops Worcestershire sauce
  • 25g parmesan cheese, finely grated, plus extra shavings to serve
  • 175g cavolo nero
  • salt, pepper

If you have a look at the original recipe,  you’ll see what’s been changed. I used commercial bread instead of a thick Italian loaf, no buttermilk or mayo but low fat yogurt, and wholegrain mustard instead of Dijon. At some point I’m going to prepare it again with all the right ingredients, I promise… 😉


In a shallow plate, prepare the marinade for the tuna. Tip in 1 tablespoon oil, the zest of half a lemon, some salt and plenty of pepper. Quickly whisk with a fork, and rub it on both sides of the tuna steak. Set aside to marinate.

Step 1. Marinate the tuna

Thoroughly wash the cavolo nero and drain it well. Remove the sturdy central rib and slice finely. Toss into a big bowl.

Now it’s time for the Caesar dressing. Tip the yogurt in a mortar (if you don’t have it, a small bowl will do the job). In a small pan, gently heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the anchovies and the garlic, stirring well to create a paste. Remove from heat, and pour it over the yogurt.

Add mustard, Worcestershire sauce, parmesan cheese and the remaining lemon zest, and stir well to create a loose dressing. If it’s too thick, add a splash of water.

Step 4. Marinade pt 2. Add parmesan, lemon zest, Worchestershire sauce and mix well.

Pour the dressing over the cavolo nero, and massage well to ensure they are completely coated. Leave to sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the dressing to soften the leaves.

Step 5. Dress the leaves and massage them well to ensure they soften up.

Set a frying pan over high heat. Sear the tuna fillets for 2-3 minutes per side (or more if you like it). In the meantime, toast the bread, drizzle it with some olive oil and some black pepper, and chop it into cubes.

Spoon the dressed cavolo nero on a serving dish, top it with the seared tuna, scatter the croutons around and finish with parmesan shavings. Serve and enjoy.

Step 6. Serve and enoy!

D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! Have you ever tried a different version of a classic salad? Let me know in the comments below!





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