Seared tuna with parsley pesto

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized

Located between the Mediterranean and Atlantic, Tarifa, and indeed the Cadiz coast, is famous for its Atun Almadraba. Fished between April and June using the same method as the Phoenicians and later the Romans, it´s considered respectful of the species. A la plancha (seared), tartare or in a bun (The Reason for Bread), you’d be hard pressed to find a substandard tuna steak here. This recipe was inspired by my favourite Tarifa restaurant Bar El Frances; for me, the herb pesto addition raises the bar on the town´s ubiquitous tuna perfection. I´ve added minutes for a (hopefully) foolproof tuna steak en casa. Vegan’s, veggies, anti-fish people: I keep a jar of the dressing in the fridge to mash into avocado or stir through salad. Trust me.

Tuna-backup-shot

Feeds 2

INGREDIENTS

2 tuna steaks
30g / bunch parsley
30g / bunch basil or your choice
1 tbsp cashew nuts
1 clove garlic
200ml olive oil
Tsp sea or Himalayan pink salt
Tsp grind black pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp Kema Kulo or sub for 1/2 green chilli – optional

METHOD

Start by making the dressing. Blitz all ingredients in a Magimix, Vitamix or blender until herbs finely chopped. You’ll need to stop to scrape down the sides midway, potentially more if using anything other than a Magimix.

Parsley-&-coriander-salsa

Transfer to a jar or sealed container and set aside. Make half quantities if you just want enough for the fish; you should still have a little left over.

To make the tuna: set a frying pan to heat on full power. When very hot, add a drizzle of olive oil, followed by the steaks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

I like mine poco hecho (virtually raw), so 30 seconds on each side is perfect.

Tuna-30secs-each-side

For ‘en su punto’ (‘just right’ a little raw in the centre), fry for 1 min on the first side and 30 secs on the reverse.

Tuna-1min

Well done needs a minute on each side. Any more and it will turn chewy.

Transfer to a plate, drizzle with the pesto and serve with spring´s new potatoes crushed with salt and olive oil, or with salad. Aproveche!

Tuna-bun

For seriously delicious ‘El Frances Montaditos’, sandwich a piece of your tuna in a bun with a slice of tomato, a little lettuce and red onion and un poquito of herb dressing. Incredible.

Tuna-montadito

 

Yoga, food, surf & sangria

I love yoga. I also love food, Tarifa, understated luxury and a chilled vibe (with Spanish gin measures). So, I joined forces with my most inspirational (and fun) yoga teachers and planned a holiday.

Green-juices-&-morning-yoga

Located in Spain’s most southern tip (the mountains in the picture are Morocco), Tarifa life revolves around the cafes, chiringuitos (beach shacks), kite and wind-surfing. We’re yet to meet anyone in Tarifa who either, hasn’t been before, or isn’t planning their return. It really is very special.

WHAT’S INCLUDED?

Yoga & Meditation

Two daily 90 minute yoga classes led through vinyasa with a more energising sequence in the morning and a softer practice come sunset. Optional daily pranayama and mediation. All classes with The Dream Team: inspirational Jivamukti yogis Molly Harragin and Stewart Heffernan.

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A palace (almost)

Our own 19th century luxe ‘palacete’ Riad Lolita, in the heart of Tarifa’s tiny, yet lively, white-washed old town. THE place to be, with cafes, shops and the beach on our doorstep.

Riad-Lolita,-upstairs-sitting-roomRiad-Lolita,-South-RoomRiad-Lolita,-family-suiteRiad-Lolita,-hallwayRiad-Lolita,-terracetarifa-streets,-spain

Wholesome Seduction

Wake-up green juices and energy bites, followed by post yoga brunch (lovingly prepared by yours truly). Plus a wholesomely seductive welcome supper around our kitchen table on the 22nd (ditto).

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Food tours and fiestas

Because no-where loves eating out, and the night, quite like Andalucia, I’ll take you on a tour of the town following our first morning’s yoga, ensuring you’re armed with the best restaurants, beach bars, shops and must see spots. We’ll also sample sunset beach cervezas, flamenco and my pick of the town throughout your stay. Budget around £15 a head for a (big) meal with wine. Note: Cerveza’s often cheaper than water.

Tarifa-churrostarifachiringuitosTarifa-Mojitos

WHEN & HOW MUCH?

22nd – 26th October 2015. Yoga runs 23rd – 26th. Prices from £475 per person based on 2 sharing. Triple rooms and suites also available.

HOW DO I GET THERE?

Airports Gibraltar (40 mins away) and Malaga (11⁄2 hrs away) run countless daily flights. For all info on buses, taxis and car hire go to: The Essentials.

ANYTHING ELSE?

An (optional) Wholesome Seduction cooking class, so you can take your brunches home! Kite surf and windsurfing courses also available.

Wave-BanditsValdevaqueros-beach,-Candy-Kites

TO BOOK & FOR FURTHER INFO:

Drop me a mail: clare@rootlondon.com
Click here for more info on Tarifa, here for our ‘palacette’ Riad Lolita and here for Getting there, check-in and what to bring.

 

Travel Pick: Riad Lolita, Tarifa

Worthy of it’s own post, Riad Lolita is one of my favourite Tarifa guesthouses. And I’ve ticked off my fair share of accommodation across multiple visits to Spain’s most southern tip – the mountains in the picture are Africa. My obsession with Tarifa can hardly have gone unnoticed (see Travel Pick: Tarifa, Andalucia). I may even have renovated my own little white washed Tarifa holiday house: La Casita Melo. My penchant for understated luxury may have been hinted at once or twice. Moorish mansion, Riad Lolita is the cherry on the cake. Here’s why:

Tarifa-skyline

Built in 1893 for the town mayor, this shrine to nineteenth century luxury retains the granduar and original features of its past: Marble floors and staircases; Moorish courtyards and tiles that prompted me to scramble for my credit card; and light flooding in from every angle through the seemingly endless windows and patio doors.

Converted from a private home last year (the layout remained the same), Danish interior design goddess Pia sourced most of the furnishings from Morocco. Synonymous with chic Tarifa, Pia oversees the creative direction of Tarifa’s more stylish apartments. A celebration of her paired back Scandi style with the architecture of the casco antiguo (old town).

The really good news? Pia believes that to keep people happy, “you need to give them more than they expect.” So, Riad Lolita is incredibly reasonably priced. Incredibly.

Riad-Lolita,-upstairs-sitting-room

Riad-Lolita,-courtyard

Riad-Lolita,-hallway

The upstairs living room, hallway and Moorish courtyard.

Moroccan suite

Riad Lolita was full when I travelled but Pia very kindly moved things around so I could spend 5 nights in this little beauty. It didn’t disappoint.

Riad-Lolita,-Moroccan-suite

Moroccan-suite,-bedroom2

Riad-Lolita,-Moroccan-suite,-sitting

Moroccan suite 2 has two rooms: living area and a bedroom with further seating area and open plan bathroom. As with the rest of the house, large windows are in abundance; a godsend during hot summer months, though all rooms have AC. Both Moroccan suites have the advantage of their own entrances onto the street; ideal for nipping out for your morning cortado.

Pia sourced most of the furniture from Morocco; the headboard is covered in a rug and the carpet, a design The Rug Company would drool over. Needless to say, I’m now planning a Tangier van haul so I can replicate all of the above in my South West London basement bedroom. Minus the extensive windows, light and sunshine. Humph.

A double room

Riad-Lolita,-South-Room

North and South rooms have an interconnecting door, should you go with a group. The tiles (and 70 euro p/nt price tag) got me in a heartbeat.

The family suite

Riad-Lolita,-Family-room Riad-Lolita,-family-suite

The master bedroom and kids room in the family suite, which comprises of four rooms, to include a living room and bathroom. Rarely are triple rooms this stylish. Take note, long lost travel buddies with babies!

The Penthouse

Riad-Lolita,-Penthouse

The Penthouse kitchen and master bathroom.

With two bathrooms, two bedrooms (or a double bed and sitting room), a kitchen and terrace, this is incredibly good value at 130 euro per night. As with the entire house, design hasn’t been compromised; mosaic tiles, a mix of antique furniture and comfort are in abundance.

The terrace

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Bang in the centre of el casco antiguo (old town) with views of Morocco. A sangria spit away.

Shared spaces

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Riad-Lolita,-shared-living

Riad-Lolita,-courtyard-sitting

With two sitting rooms, a large kitchen, terrace and even chill out hallways, Riad Lolita has ample living space outside of the bedrooms. This is actually quite unusual for Tarifa and  as such, it’s an ideal and very reasonable (500 euros per night for 9 bedrooms / 22 people) option for groups.

For prices and how to book, contact: Riad Lolita or Tarifa Beach House.

For why and when to go: Travel Pick: Tarifa, Andalucia

Reasons to visit Tarifa (other than for Riad Lolita):

Bar-El-Frances-tapas

Valdevaqueros-beach,-Candy-Kites Los-Lances-beach-sunset

I’m yet to meet anyone in Tarifa who either, hasn’t been before, or isn’t already planning their return. It really is a very special place.

Travel Pick: Tarifa, Andalucia