Spring superstars: Annie Bell’s griddled tuna with wild garlic and pecan pesto

When wild garlic is not available other soft fragrant leaves, including watercress, spinach, basil and parsley, or a mixture, will make lovely pestos.

Ellis Parrinder


50g wild garlic, thickly sliced
30g pecans, roughly chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
A squeeze of lemon juice
2 x 120g yellowfin tuna steaks (about 2cm thick)
2 heads of chicory, base trimmed, halved lengthways and cut into strips
100g samphire (or rock samphire), picked over
1 tbsp nonpareille capers, rinsed

  1. If your wild garlic is in flower, then reserve a few white petals to decorate. Whizz the wild garlic leaves and half the pecans to a paste in a food processor, then add 2 tbsp oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a little salt and pulse again to combine.
  2. Heat a ridged griddle pan over a medium-high heat until hot. Brush the tuna fillets either side with 1/2 tbsp oil and season. Fry for about 2 minutes either side until just cooked through (they can also be seared in a non-stick frying pan). Transfer to a couple of warm plates.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/2 tbsp oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat and stir-fry the samphire and chicory for 4-6 minutes until tender and the chicory is golden.
  4. Pile the veg on to plates with the tuna. Spoon the pesto to the side and scatter everything with the remaining pecans and capers, plus a few of the wild garlic flower petals if you have them.

Recipes: Annie Bell. Photographs: Ellis Parrinder. Food styling: Lou Kenney. Styling: Charlie Phillips