I’ve long been a fan of well-prepared raw fish, having first tasted excellent sushi on a trip to New York City in the early 1980s. Not long after, I was delighted to discover ceviche – an intoxicating blend of fish, citrus juice and chilies that hails from Peru. Next up was my first just-plucked-from-the-sea raw scallop. New to me this year was another variation on raw fish, known simply as crudo (Italian for ‘raw’) which I discovered at Supply and Demand, a delicious eatery in Ottawa which was just named number 4 on the respected enRoute magazine’s list of the top new restaurants in Canada. My husband loves Supply and Demand’s tuna crudo so much that I was determined to come up with my own version. As with all raw fish dishes, be sure to use the best quality tuna you can find, and purchase it from a reputable fishmonger.
- 1 slightly stale baguette
- 3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound albacore or ahi tuna loin
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 medium shallot, minced (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 teaspoons capers, drained well and chopped
- ½ red chili pepper (Thai or birdseye), seeds removed and very thinly sliced (or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)
- 12 leaves basil OR small handful fresh chives, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon (at least 2 tablespoons)
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- To make crostini, slice baguette thinly (1/4 inch) and lay the slices out on a baking tray.
- Brush bread slices lightly with olive oil and bake until just beginning to brown (6 – 8 minutes). Flip slices over and bake 3 – 4 minutes longer.
- Remove from oven and transfer slices to a cooling rack. (NOTE: you can make the crostini several days ahead.)
- Place the tuna in the freezer for 15 minutes to help it firm up which will make it easier to slice.
- Use a very sharp knife to cut the tuna into very thin slices (about 1/8 inch thick).
- As you work, arrange the tuna slices in a single layer on a serving platter. (NOTE: you can do this up to 3 hours ahead of time; cover the platter with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time).
- When ready to serve, sprinkle the tuna generously with the salt, then with the shallots, chilis, capers and basil or chives.
- Whisk the oil and lemon juice together until well blended and drizzle over the tuna.
- Serve immediately, with the crostini.
Serves 6 – 8 as an appetizer.