For the B part of B.L.T.,, basil instantly came to mind. But basil pesto? BORING! What else could I use for a basil flavoring? I thought a basil based chermoula would do the trick.
A chermoula is a marinade used in North African cooking, mainly for fish, and usually includes fresh herbs, preserved lemon, cumin, onions and other herbs and spices. It’s tasty and divine, and lately, I’ve taken it a step further, using it like a salsa or chimichurri and serving it up with grilled steak and chicken.
MY chermoula included: Lemon Basil, Basil, cilantro, Preserved Lemon, olive oil, smoked paprika and fresh garlic, but I omitted the cumin, I thought it would overpower the basil. It was easy enough to make in the food processor and onto the tuna it went.
Now that I had my condiment, it was time to create my garnish of frizzled Leeks! I cut the leeks into fine strips, washed and dried them thoroughly and then dusted them with salt and Wondra and quickly fried them in hot oil. You have to be careful here, they burn and over cook very quickly!
Finally, I grilled the Tuna to a lovely medium rare and toasted the ciabatta Bread and put it all together! I served it up with my tangy, home-style, smashed red skin potato salad!
In spite of the flavor hit of the chermoula, over all, this was a mild and fresh-tasting sandwich. The Meyer lemon mayo was an excellent foil for the quite bold flavors of the chermoula, which I drizzled over the tuna as well as used as a marinade. With each bite, I would get a surprise hit of lemony, coriander seed or sharp, salty preserved lemon while the usually strong basil flavor was subdued by the other herbs, lemon and garlic.
The tuna was cooked to perfection and I was pleased when I took a large, eager bite and tuna juice mingled with the mayo and dripped on to my plate. The leeks, however, were a bit insipid beneath all the robust flavors in the chermoula and mayo, so maybe next time I’d cut them thicker and actually batter them or HELL, just put some onion rings on the darn thing! A lack of crunch was my only tiny criticism, the freshness of the ingredients combined with the multitude of flavors were really delicious! A WINNER!
There will be a round up in the next few days and I’ll add the link so YOU can see all the super-creative entries! As per usualy, the Creative Cooking Crew will NOT disappoint!
So, what would YOU make for YOUR NOT-A-B.L.T. sammie? Do tell, La Diva wants to hear all about it!
Ciao for now, darlings!