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Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Free-form tuna, olive and a...



Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Free-form tuna, olive and artichoke tart

(Photo: Hein van Tonder)

These Mediterranean flavours come together beautifully in this delightful tart. I freeze the pastry with great success and, other than the time it takes to defrost, this dish can be put together in just a few minutes. Served with a green salad, this makes for the perfect light lunch.

From Sophia Lindop’s new book, going home: Food and Stories from Lebanon, the Land of my Forefathers (Annake Müller Publishing)

My grandfather, way ahead of his time, swore by the health-giving properties of extra-virgin olive oil when the world still considered it taboo. His conviction came from the beliefs he had adopted growing up in Lebanon, and he created a contraption and began pressing olive oil for the family. I was delighted by the murky greenish gold liquid that would slowly flow off the press, and loved its peppery flavour. We used to enjoy the few bottles with our meals and my absolute best was to drizzle some over the kibbeh nayyeh, combining the zesty flavour of the oil with the spring onions and lamb.

On my visit to Lebanon in November 2018 to see all the players that would help me make the planned inaugural Food Tour a success, I saw some bottles of olive oil at the home of my friend and fellow chef, Peter Jabbour – it was pressed by his family and had the same cloudy appearance that I associated with the olive oil that dripped from my grandfather’s homemade press. I asked to taste some… and was immediately transported back to my childhood. It’s funny how flavours and smells can do that to one…


(Serves 6 to 8)

For the pastry

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp salt

150 g butter, cubed

3 tbsp iced water


For the filling

3 tbsp basil pesto

200 g canned chunky tuna, roughly flaked

200 g preserved artichoke hearts, quartered

50 g sundried tomatoes (soaked in olive oil), drained and chopped into smaller bits

10 calamata olives

6 whole cherry tomatoes

sea salt and freshly milled black pepper

fresh basil

1 egg yolk, beaten in a little milk, for brushing


Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Place the flour, paprika and salt in a bowl and rub the butter cubes into the dry ingredients until it resembles fine crumbs. Add the cold water to form a dough.

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to a thickness of about 3 mm to form an elongated oval shape. Transfer to a baking tray lined with a sheet of baking paper.

Spread the basil pesto on the base, leaving a 3 cm rim clear. Layer the rest of the filling ingredients on top.

Fold the rim over the outer circumference of the filling to form a secure casing. Brush the pastry with the egg wash. Place in the oven and bake for 25–30 minutes until golden brown.

Top with roughly torn fresh basil leaves and serve. DM/TGIFood

Our Thank God It’s Food newsletter is sent to subscribers every Friday at 6pm, and published on the TGIFood platform on Daily Maverick. It’s all about great reads on the themes of food and life. Subscribe here.

Send your Lockdown Recipes to [email protected] with a hi-resolution horizontal (landscape) photo.

Thank God It’s Food is sponsored by Pick n Pay.


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