Tartare is very popular in France – the first time I innocently ordered a steak tartare I was stunned to be served with what amounted to a huge piece of raw minced meat (I was thinking more along the lines of steak served with a ‘tartare’ sauce – wrong!)
I have still not embraced the idea of raw meat, not matter how much you dress it up with capers and eggs ect, but I do like the fish variety, particularly smoked salmon.
The last three months since I began writing this blog, have been a huge learning curve for me. I have entered into a virtual community and discovered a whole new world of wonderful, talented, creative and surprisingly very supportive fellow bloggers, and have realised how much I have yet to learn.
My greatest area of inexperience was/is photography. I had never really photographed food before and had to start thinking about light and perspective in a different manner.
One of the biggest mistakes that I have made is that of cropping photographs on my camera. I have taken some decent photographs and cropped them to display the perfect frame, only to have them appear the size of a small postage stamp when transferred to the blog, and I then had to enlarge them dramatically, losing all of their original clarity.
Alas – this is one of those photographs……. But ‘Onward and Upward’ I have learnt by this mistake. I hope that my ineptitude as a photographer does not put you off trying this very simple, but impressive starter.
1 sliced of smoked salmon* per person
½ a small shallot per person very finely diced
A good pinch of dill (aneth)
1 teaspoon of horseradish (radis noir) mixed with 1 teaspoon of crème fraiche per person (to garnish)
Cucumber cut in to ‘matchsticks’ (Julienne)
Olive oil for drizzling
*Finely chopped raw fresh can be used in place of smoked salmon if preferred.
Dice the salmon and mix with the lemon juice, shallots and dill.
Distribute the mixture between the required amount of ‘scone’ cutters (if graduated, make sure that the widest part is at the top for ease of removal) and place on a lightly greased baking tray and chill for at least 1 hour.
Cut the cucumber lengthways and deseed, then cut into fine 2” (4cm) strands.
Mix the crème fraiche and horseradish in a basin (adjust percentages depending on how ‘piquant’ you like it
Arrange the cucumber on a serving plate
Careefully remove the tartares with a fish slice from the baking tray and position on top of the cucumber
Top with a good teaspoon of the horseradish cream and lightly drizzle the cucumber with oil (I used an olive oil lightly flavoured with mint, but a lemon oil would work well also)
This is a lovely fresh start to a meal and particularly good to serve at Easter time as it has a ‘Spring like’ air and the greens of the Horseradish plant are reputedly one of the ‘5 bitter herbs’ served at ‘Passover’ when the last supper took place……..