By Laura Ratliff and Ryan Smith | February 15, 2012

By: Laura Ratliff and Ryan Smith

Among the myriad of bad programming on Netflix’s Instant Watch, Ryan has discovered a cute English cooking show that we actually enjoy watching.

Jamie Oliver’s “Oliver’s Twist” is a little silly-especially the theme song-but it’s fun watching Oliver (a really talented chef who pushes to improve unhealthy diets and cooking skills) visit local markets and cook up fresh and easy meals for groups of his friends. This dinner was inspired by and adapted from one of the episodes.

The episode that inspired this post shows Oliver preparing yellowfin tuna with a new potato salad, filled with capers, red onion and celery hearts.

The idea of a big, lightly-seared yellowfin tuna steak paired with a salty potato salad sounded perfect to us, so I re-watched the episode at least three times to make sure that I did Oliver’s recipe a justice, as there aren’t any recipes online to accompany the show.

After a trip to our favorite fish market, Lobster Place, to pick up our gorgeous tuna steak (and admire the hundred different varieties of oysters, smelts, live sea urchins, and other ocean-y goodness), I like to think I prepared a version of Oliver’s dish that would make him proud. It made us proud either way!

The tuna was perfect-delightfully pink in the middle, just warm enough on the outside, and perfectly accented by the basil-and the salad was perfect as well. Like Oliver explained in the episode, the mild, starchy potatoes go perfectly with the salty nip of capers and pungent aroma of fresh red onion. Celery is probably one of my least favorite vegetables, but I actually enjoyed the addition of celery hearts in the salad. These tender yellow leaves are mild and have some celery flavor, but aren’t overpowering.

The whole meal was a perfect combination of flavors and textures that I certainly won’t hesitate to make again. If you even remotely like a good tuna steak, this is a must-try. Even the potato salad on its own makes a great quick side dish.

Seared Tuna Steaks with New Potato Salad Recipe


For the potatoes:
2 lbs. yellow new potatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
1/2 lemon
2 tbsp. capers
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 celery hearts

For the tuna:
8 oz. yellowfin tuna steak
Kosher salt and pepper
Olive oil
Fresh basil


  1. Bring a large salted pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes. Boil for about 15 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes and allow to cool.
  2. Once cool, cut potatoes in half and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Add capers and red onion. Squeeze lemon on top.
  3. Slice the yellow leaves from the celery hearts and add to the salad. Toss to blend.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sprinkle tuna steak with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Once pan is heated, cook tuna steak for about a minute on each side, until just seared. Set aside.
  6. In a blender (or with a mortar and pestle), take a handful of basil leaves, olive oil and salt and blend until a paste forms. Season to taste.
  7. Slice seared tuna, top with basil sauce and serve atop potato salad.

Photos by Laura Ratliff

Laura Ratliff and Ryan Smith are the authors of Smith & Ratliff, a New York City-based lifestyle blog. They write about food, cocktails, art, style and life in New York City. Follow them on Twitter: @smithratliff

For more amazing recipes from Laura and Ryan, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)


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