Tomato and Tuna Tartare
This fresh dish is perfect for hot summers. Generally, this is served as a starter, but you can use it as a main course by increasing quantites and add some salad and feta cheese for example. No cooking necessary, which is always a plus!
- Canned tuna (about half a medium-size can)
- Olive oil
- Vegetable oil (I usually use sunflower oil, for its bland taste)
- Salt and pepper
- Chives (can be optional if you don't like them, but they add a nice taste :))
You need about 1.5 to 2 tomatoes per person, depending on the size of the tomatoes, how hungry people are, or if you’re serving the dish as a starter or main course. For a main course, I would use 4 tomatoes per person and use a full can of tuna for 2 people.
- Dice the tomatoes in small cubes, pour salt on them.
Tip: put the tomato cubes in a strainer while you prepare the rest, so that the salt can do its work, i.e. get the excess of water out of the tomatoes.
- Put the tuna in a bowl and attack it with a fork so that the pieces of tuna are not distinguishable any more (see what I mean? You want one heap of tuna, not pieces).
- With a fork, mix some vegetable and olive oil with the tuna. Usually, I use a ratio of 2/3 of vegetable oil and 1/3 of olive oil, otherwise, the tuna will have a very strong olive and bitter taste. Adjust as you taste the mix, depending on your personal preference.
- Shred the basil leaves in small pieces and add them to the tuna mix. Add salt and pepper as well. Taste to see how you like it.
- Optional: add some chives cut in little pieces. Don’t put too much of them otherwise you will cancel out the basil taste.
Serving the dish
- Put the tomato pieces in a small round container (you can use a square one as well, round just looks better :)). The pieces need to be packed tight in the container.
- Take out the plates in which you’re going to serve the tartare.
- Place the plate upside down on top of the container with the tomatoes.
- Make the plate and the container do a 180° flip, the tomato pieces should fall on the plate in a nice round heap. Remove the plastic container.
- With a spoon, scoop some of the tuna mix and place it delicately on the tomato pieces.
A simpler way of presenting the dish is to use metal circles that will shape the tomatoes easily. But not everybody has metal circles in their kitchen (I sure don't! :))
For a nice finish, you can add some pepper again (to have some little decorative black dots) and plant a whole basil leaf on the tuna heap. You can add a few square of feta cheese as well, and one full chive.
Put the plates back in the fridge if need be, serve cold.
- Instead of using oil to mix the tuna, use Tartare cheese (Boursin would do as well, but I cannot guarantee it as I'm more familiar with Tartare cheese).
- You can also replace oil with Philadelphia cheese for a taste blander than with Tartare or Boursin. (Special thanks to Sarah who introducted me to the tuna/Philadelphia mix :))
- Do a three-layer dish: one layer of tomatoes, one layer of cheese (Tartare, Boursin or Philadelphia that you accomodated to your taste) and one layer of tuna.