When you’ve a  really bare cupboard and fridge , and can’t face a supermarket trip, you’ll be surprised at what you can create with just a few  ingredients.

400g tinned tuna, drained and flaked
400g mashed potato (made from approx. 800g unpeeled potatoes)
1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
200g frozen peas, defrosted
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
8-10tbsp semolina
3tbsp olive oil
Lemon wedges and green salad or vegetables, to serve

6 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed and roughly chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper

In a large bowl, mix together the flaked tuna, mashed potato, spring onions, peas, chopped parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper until well combined.

Using wet hands (this will stop the mixture sticking to you) shape into fish cakes  –  big or small, it’s up to you  –  and then lightly coat each one all over with the semolina.

Heat the olive oil in large frying pan over a low-medium heat and cook the fishcakes for just a few minutes each side until golden. You may need to do this in a couple of batches, depending on the size of your frying pan. Take care not to have the heat too high, as you want to ensure they are heated all the way through without burning.

While the fishcakes are cooking, mix together all of the ingredients for the mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the hot fishcakes with the caper and lemon mayonnaise and a green salad or vegetables.

PS… For Asian-flavoured fishcakes, replace the lemon zest with lime zest and swap the parsley for coriander
Photograph: Gareth Morgans

The sun is shining and the barbeque is Hot Hot Hot…


The weather is just too good to be true at the moment and our barbeque has never been used so frequently. As much as I love good old bangers and burgers, this weekend I’m going to be preparing one of my favourite summer recipes, Tuna Nicoise.

Rather than using tinned tuna, I, or should I say Phil, my husband, will be searing some fresh tuna on a white hot barbie, while I prepare the classic Mediterranean salad to go with it. Yum, I can’t wait. The vino is chilling already.

Serves 4


4 x fresh tuna steaks (around 2.5cm thick)
8-12 new potatoes
4 eggs, at room temperature
a couple of handfuls of French beans, tops trimmed
olive oil, for brushing
4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1-2 small lettuce such as gem or a small bag of leaves
1 small red onion, finely sliced
6 anchovy fillets cut lengthways into thin strips
large handful of pitted black olives
4-6 tbsp French dressing/vinaigrette


Remove the tuna from the fridge and leave at room temperature while you prepare the salad.

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, drain and quarter lengthways and leave to cool.

Cook the eggs for 6 minutes in boiling water. Drain, peel and slice in half. Leave to cool.

The French beans can also be boiled in salted water for a few minutes until just tender. Refresh under cold water.

Brush the tuna with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place on a hot barbeque and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on how rare you like your fish.

Lay the lettuce or salad leaves onto a large plate or 4 individual plates, and add the tomatoes, onion, potatoes, eggs, French beans, anchovies and olives. Drizzle over the dressing then serve with the tuna steaks on the side, or sliced into strips and placed on top.

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