This is a wonderfully simple technique for adding even more flavor to our already flavorful lemon tuna. We infuse olive oil with garlic, fresh thyme, lemon zest, and chili flakes before folding in flakes of tuna, preserved lemon, and toasted pine nuts. This combination is delicious as is, and would be lovely piled high on a piece of toast with some fresh sheep’s milk cheese, as a dip for crudité, or alongside a pile of silky soft greens. Here, we combined it with orzo and broccoli raab for a light, savory dinner.
¼ cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
Zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon chili flakes
2 tins Ekone Smoked Tuna with Lemon, flaked into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon finely chopped preserved lemon rind
⅓ cup toasted pine nuts
Sea salt and black pepper to season
1 cup dried orzo
3 heaping cups finely chopped broccoli raab
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Bring a pot of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, season it generously with salt. Add the orzo and cook according to the package instructions. Add the chopped broccoli raab to the pot one minute before the orzo is al dente. If your pasta and greens are finished cooking before your pan is ready to welcome them, simply strain in a colander and set aside to wait patiently - making sure to reserve at least a ¼ cup of pasta water.
In a frying pan set over medium-low heat, add the olive oil, garlic, thyme, lemon zest, and chili flakes. Cook for 10 minutes (until the garlic has softened and everything is very aromatic), then add the tuna and cook for another couple of minutes to allow all of the flavors to meld. (If you’re looking to orchestrate perfect timing, start cooking the orzo when you add the tuna fish to the pan.) Add the preserved lemon and toasted pine nuts. Transfer the cooked orzo and broccoli raab to the pan, alongside a small splash of pasta water. Stir vigorously to help meld the starch in the orzo with the sauce. Add the lemon juice, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning, and adjust if needed.
Recipe by our friend Vilda Gonzalez!