Harvest harbour bounty for a deliciously simple dinner

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LAWRENCE MURPHY: Spicing up the top of this summer's crops

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This week chef Lawrence is inspired by a waterside walk to pair sea purslane with tuna.

Yesterday morning I walked my normal route around Emsworth pond and along Chichester Harbour, trying not to let my two terriers pull me over.

In the woods where I turn around to head back I noticed that the elderberries were turning from green to black and made a mental note to return in a week to collect some.

The tide was out, which gave me the opportunity to venture out to a small sand bank to look for some sea purslane whilst the dogs looked for crabs to play with.

This small greyish-green shrub is quite abundant in Chichester harbour as it favours salt marsh and tidal areas and likes to be flooded at high tide.

The evergreen leaves are succulent and naturally salty and can be eaten raw in salads or cooked to accompany most fish dishes.

If you eat it raw use sparingly because of the salt content, but if wilted you can increase the quantity.

Armed with a small bag of purslane and two muddy dogs, I walked home thinking of what I would be putting with my find.

As the summer has been so warm tomatoes have been beautifully sweet. I have some baby plum tomatoes in the fridge which I can roast and serve with black olive tapenade, purslane and seared tuna.

This dish is easy to prepare, but make sure you buy quality ingredients to make it really shine.

To find out more about Lawrence’s restaurant Fat Olives, go to fatolives.co.uk or call (01243) 377914.

Seared tuna with tomatoes, purslane and olive tapenade

Ingredients (makes four)

4 thick slices of tuna (yellow fin)

Small bunch of purslane

200g baby tomatoes

Olive oil

Sea salt

For the tapenade:

100g black olives

10g capers

2 anchovy fillets

1 small clove garlic

60ml olive oil

Teaspoon of lemon juice

Method

1. Roast the tomatoes with a sprinkling of olive oil in a 200 centigrade oven with a pinch of sea salt.

2. Whilst the tomatoes are cooking make the tapenade by liquidizing all the ingredients together.

3. Sear the tuna in a hot pan for a minute on each side.

4. Cook the purslane in a tablespoon of water and a squirt of olive oil for a minute.

5. Spoon the tomatoes and purslane around the plate with the tapenade.

6. Place the tuna in the centre and serve.