½telegraph cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1cm dice3vine-ripened tomatoes (400gm)9quail eggs, at room temperature8thin slices baguette1garlic clove, halved2 tbspextra-virgin olive oil500 gmsashimi-grade yellowfin tuna1 tbspolive oil12Kalamata olives, pitted and halved1celery heart, shaved, placed in iced water for 10 minutes, drained, leaves reserved to serve3cooked artichoke hearts (see note), drained, quartered1roast red capsicum, cut into 2cm-thick strips (see note)6white anchovy fillets, rinsed4radishes, thinly slicedTo serve:basil leaves, chervil sprigs and finely chopped chives1 tbsptapenade (see note)Lemon vinaigrette80 ml (1/3 cup)extra-virgin olive oil2 tbsplemon juice
Place cucumber in a colander and lightly season with sea salt, set aside until liquid is drawn from cucumber (10 minutes). Drain, pat dry with absorbent paper, set aside.
Meanwhile, blanch tomatoes until skins split (10-20 seconds). Drain, refresh, then drain, peel, remove seeds, cut into eighths and set aside.
Soft-boil quail eggs in a saucepan of boiling water (2-2½ minutes). Refresh, peel, halve and set aside.
Rub baguette slices with cut side of garlic clove. Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add baguette and turn occasionally until crisp and golden (3-4 minutes). Keep warm.
Preheat a char-grill pan over high heat. Brush tuna with olive oil and grill, turning once, until golden and cooked rare (15-20 seconds each side). Thinly slice and set aside.
For lemon vinaigrette, combine ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and set aside.
Combine olives, celery, artichoke, capsicum, cucumber and tomato in a bowl with half the dressing and season lightly to taste. Arrange on a platter and place tuna on top with quail eggs, anchovies and radish. Pour over remaining dressing, scatter with basil, chervil, chives and celery leaves. Spread baguette with tapenade and serve with salad.
Note Cooked artichoke hearts, roast capsicum and tapenade are available from select delicatessens.
This recipe is from the January 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.