Saturday, 10 July 2021

Fishing For Compliments

I used to make meatloaf a lot in days gone by, a good way of using up leftover meat, padding out a small amount with veg and breadcrumbs to stretch it...Good served hot, or cold, with salad, potatoes, bread, or other carbs...

The other Saturday in the Guardian, Yotam Ottolenghi posted a meatloaf recipe using with canned tuna. He suggested it for picnics. I have to say it turned out way better than I expected. Delicious with new potatoes and salad on a Sunday, and great sandwiches on Monday - nothing else added, just some ketchup spread on the bread. Tuesday with mash and veg. I forgot to take photos. Follow the recipe, chill it well, and then store in a Lock&Lock. I used some leftover regular bread - no pita to hand, and only 2 garlic cloves, and I had no parmesan, so I substituted some goats cheese. Here's the article [and his picture - mine actually looked just like the picture!!]

Serve slices of this tuna loaf with a salad or, even better, stuff them into sandwiches. For a picnic in the park, fry and cool the slices before transporting, but if you’re serving them at a garden picnic at home, set up a DIY sandwich station with a selection of filings, and let everyone create their own sandwich.

Prep 15 min, Cook 55 min, Cool 2½ hr, Serves 4-6

220g cherry tomatoes
½ onion, peeled and roughly chopped (40g net weight)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
80g parmesan, cut into roughly 2cm chunks
40g tomato paste
30g mayonnaise
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet mild paprika
¾ tsp chilli flakes
2 eggs
150g pita, torn into roughly 2cm chunks
Salt and black pepper
3 x 160g tins tuna in olive oil, drained and the oil reserved
60g baby capers, drained
25g basil leaves, finely chopped

  • Heat the oven to 200°C and grease and line a standard 9cm x 24cm loaf tin 
  • Put the tomatoes, onion, garlic, parmesan, tomato paste, mayonnaise, mustard, cumin, paprika, chilli flakes, eggs, bread, half a teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper in a food processor, then pulse to a rough, wet paste.
  •  Scrape the mixture into a large bowl, add the tuna, capers, basil and two tablespoons of the reserved tuna oil, then fold to combine. Spoon this into the lined tin, and mould the top into a loaf shape. Brush the top of the loaf with a tablespoon of the reserved tuna oil.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, basting the loaf with a bit more tuna oil after 15 and 30 minutes,then remove and leave to cool for 15 minutes. Unmould the loaf, transfer it to a rack and leave to cool completely for about two and a half hours. Once cooled, carefully cut the loaf into 2½cm-thick slices and brush both sides of each slice with some of the remaining tuna oil.
  • Heat a large, non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat. Once hot, fry the slices, in batches if need be, for two minutes on each side, or until they have a nice golden crust. Serve with salad or in a sandwich.

Made it on a Saturday afternoon - and it fed us well for three days. Bob was very positive about it. More fish, more salads...our diet is improving.


  1. Thanks, this sounds right up my street.

  2. My mum used to make a tuna and grapefruit terrine during the warmer months of the year. It was one of our favourite things to eat in summer, and it was lovely with salad, or sliced and put in a bread roll.
    I know she wrote the recipe down somewhere but I've never been able to find it, more's the pity!
    I may try 'your' recipe, but I loathe Olive Oil, so maybe not. Strangely enough I can eat Olives until they're coming out of my ears!

    1. Actually, I realise now that my tuna was packed in sunflower oil.

  3. Looks and sounds delicious!

  4. I would normally be put off by such a long list of ingredients.....but it actually sounds quite easy!

    1. Really easy - the processor does all the work!

  5. Sounds pretty good - I like things that can be made once and provide several meals! :)

  6. I will have to try this! Cheers

  7. Do you think it would be ok to skip the last bit of frying the individual slices? It sounds so easy otherwise.

    1. Looking at YOs picture above, the 2 slices in the pan are obviously fried - but the main loaf is just sliced. It IS cooked- and would be perfectly acceptable as is. I think the extra frying just holds the slices together better. Useful if transporting for a picnic - but not strictly necessary if serving straight from loaf tin to plate or into sandwich. Brushing slices with oil and then frying does give an added fishy flavour to the crust - but adds calories too! You MUST refridgerate for 2 hrs so it firms up - but if you wanted to serve warm, I think a minute in the microwave, or a blast in a hot oven would work.

  8. Thanks so much. I will try this at the weekend.


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