Saturday, 30 June 2012

Tuna Nicoise Salad

Today was the first day of this year's Leeds Waterfront Festival, a couple of days of activities along the Aire as it passes through the city centre.  With Z's mum visiting and a toddler to entertain it seemed rude not to pop along for a nosey.  We had planned on getting to Granary Wharf in time for lunch but, somehow, we managed to get out of the house in good time so we arrived just after eleven when things were just getting set up.

R enjoyed toddling around the place and was fascinated by the boats and stilt walker but we can only keep him in one area for so long as he tends to get bored*.  We wandered along the waterfront taking in a classic French car display, craft market and boule demonstration before getting to Clarence Dock where the main event of the day was taking place, the Dragon Boat Races.  I don't know if it's the fancy dress, the overall excitement of the races or the fact that the theme from Hawaii Five-o is played during each race, but I love the whole spectacle.

After a couple of races, including the inevitable Pirates verses Vikings race, we needed lunch and so made our way back along the waterfront to Brewery Wharf, where we stopped off at Azucar for tapas.  Never having eaten there before I asked the waitress about portion size and she suggested two to three items from the menu each would be plenty.  She wasn't wrong.  For the three of us, plus R, we ordered seven items and we couldn't finish all of them.  There is clearly a huge difference between Spanish tapas and Yorkshire tapas.

For the record we ordered; calamares, croquetas de bacalao, chorizo al vino, jalapos, tortilla espanola, huevos rotos and patatas bravas.  The food was good, not that expensive and it came out fast, which is always a bonus if you are ever out eating with R.  With hindsight we needn't have ordered the huevos rotos.  They were nice but unnecessary.  We were then faced with a dilemma.  We had decided, before leaving the house, that we would choose what to cook for the evening meal after eating lunch.  With such a varied meal behind us we were scratching our heads a little.

A quick tour around Kirkgate market, forced partly by the need to get out of the rain, gave us the inspiration we needed.  With such a large lunch, all three of us wanted a salad and with green beans, free range eggs and fantastic tuna all available, a nicoise salad made perfect sense.  I won't try to teach you how to boil an egg.  I won't describe the process of searing raw tuna.  I'm not going to tell you what dressing to pour over the salad, which should include green beans, tomatoes and olives.  I will suggest in the strongest terms that you give this a go.  Fresh tuna is as far away from tinned tuna as you can get.  It is not cheap but it is fantastic.

*I can't imagine where he gets that from.

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