Curried Tuna Tartare with Crab, Crispy Salsify, Cucumber, and Radish Oil
Tuna and crab meat are dressed with a mixture of curry and creme fraiche, then packed into ring molds to create the presentation. These “cakes” of tartare are garnished with crisp-fried salsify (oyster plant), and a simple sauce of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, radish, and cucumber. The result is a very fresh tasting appetizer which can be prepared ahead of time, stored in the refrigerator with ring molds in place, then taken out, unmolded, and garnished at the last minute.
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Garlic Clove - 1 large, minced
- Onion - 1/2 small, minced
- Curry powder - 2-1/2 tablespoon
- Water - 3 tablespoons
- Sushi-grade Tuna - 8 ounces, diced
- Snow Crab Meat - 6 ounces
- Creme Fraiche - 1/2 cup
- Radish Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar - 1/2 cup
- Olive Oil - 3/4 cup
- Radishes - 2 large, minced
- Cucumber - 1/2, peeled, seeded, and minced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Crispy Salsify
- Salsify - peeled and cut in long thin slices
- All-Purpose Flour - 2 tablespoons
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Parsley Sprigs - 4
- Radishes - 4 large, cut in thin slices
To make the tartare: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the olive oil, garlic, and onion, cover, and cook until the vegetables are softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the curry and cook for 2 minutes. Add the water, blend, and cook until reduced to a thick paste. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Put the creme fraiche in a small bowl and stir in the cooled paste. In a separate bowl, mix together the tuna and crab meat. Add enough of the creme fraiche mixture to moisten and coat the seafood. If the curry flavor is too strong for your taste, adjust by stirring in plain creme fraiche.
To make the oil: Whisk all ingredients in a non-aluminum bowl until combined. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
To prepare the salsify: Heat the oil to 365 F in a deep-fat fryer or deep saucepan. Dust the salsify with the flour and spank off any that remains visible. Place the salsify strips in the oil and fry until golden, turning once. Lift out with tongs or a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
To serve: Place a 5-inch ring mold in the center of each serving plate. Divide the tartare among the plates and pack into the molds, pressing down gently with the back of a spoon. Lift the rings. Place 5 or 6 thin radish slices in a circle around the tartare. Lay strips of salsify across the tartare, and garnish with a sprig of parsley. Whisk the radish oil again and spoon over the radish slices on each plate.