For seasonal eaters, this is the absolute best time of year, as most fruit and veg are ready to be harvested around now, which means they are at their highest nutritional value (as opposed to plants grown out-of-season under unnatural, man-made conditions). Eating seasonal produce is also better for the planet, as fewer resources (such as electricity) are needed to nurture plants into fruition, so they have a smaller carbon footprint.
Seared tuna with fresh mango salsa
Fresh tuna is a brilliant source of omega 3 essential fatty acids, which are believed to help prevent high blood cholesterol, cancer, heart disease, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and neurological disorders like depression, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. And if that weren’t enough, it also contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Mango fruit is an excellent source of vitamin A and flavonoids like beta-carotene, essential for healthy skin, eyesight, and good health in general.
If mango hasn’t reached your local grocer yet, substitute with pineapple, which contains an enzyme called bromelain – it has anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting and anti-cancer properties. Pineapple is also rich in B-complex vitamins like folates, thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and minerals like copper, manganese and potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for searing
1 large red onion, chopped
2 teaspoon peeled, minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 large ripe mangos, peeled, flesh chopped into 1cm cubes
2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 teaspoon brown sugar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno chilli (or to taste)
4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil leaves
4 tuna steaks
1. Combine all the ingredients, except the basil and the tuna steaks, in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside and allow to stand for at least 20 minutes, to allow the flavours to get acquainted.
2. Heat a frying pan over high heat until very hot. Season the tuna liberally with salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the frying pan and then the tuna steaks. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until the outside is browned, but the inside is very rare (or to taste).
3. Stir basil through the salsa and taste it. If you prefer something more tart, add a little balsamic vinegar (only a little!) or lemon juice.
4. Transfer tuna steaks to plates, top with the salsa and serve.