Grilled tuna with braised celery

Serves 4 as a main course
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Indy Lifestyle Online

There is some great leafy celery from Italy. It knocks the spots off our own stuff, with the leaves chopped off to make it look tidier. I just don't get it. If you're buying celery, surely you want it leaves and all. It would be like buying a chicken and finding some cle0ver sod has taken the legs off. This is a sort of caponata (the sweet and sour Italian celery and aubergine stew) and makes good use of the leaves that get lost on the way to the supermarket.

There is some great leafy celery from Italy. It knocks the spots off our own stuff, with the leaves chopped off to make it look tidier. I just don't get it. If you're buying celery, surely you want it leaves and all. It would be like buying a chicken and finding some cle0ver sod has taken the legs off. This is a sort of caponata (the sweet and sour Italian celery and aubergine stew) and makes good use of the leaves that get lost on the way to the supermarket.

4 tuna steaks, weighing about 160g each and 11/2-2cm thick
Vegetable oil for brushing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the braised celery

1 medium onion, peeled and cut into rough 1cm dice
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2tsp chopped oregano or thyme leaves
4tbsp olive oil
1 head of leafy celery
2tsp tomato purée
1tbsp white wine vinegar
1tbsp large capers
6 green olives, stoned and quartered
250ml vegetable stock
1tbsp chopped celery leaves

Chop the root off the celery to loosen the sticks and leaves. Trim all the leaves off and wash and dry them.

Take 4-5 stalks and peel them if they are stringy, then cut them down the middle and chop into rough 1cm cubes. Gently cook the onion, garlic and oregano in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes until soft, stirring every so often. Add the celery, vinegar, tomato purée and stock, season and bring to the boil.

Simmer for 10 minutes with a lid on then remove the lid and add the capers, olives and chopped celery leaf and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. Keep warm with a lid on.

Heat a ribbed griddle pan or heavy frying pan, season and lightly brush the tuna steaks with the oil and cook for 1 minute on each side for rare and 2 minutes for medium-rare. To serve, mix the olive oil and vinegar together and toss with the celery leaves. Spoon the braised celery on to plates, and place the tuna on top with a pile of the rest of the unchopped leaves on the side.

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