I am nuts about tuna tartare. If it's on a menu, I'm helpless to order anything else. So when I was in NYC recently, I lunched at the Gotham Bar and Grill and ordered the tuna tartare, which turned out to be one of the best tuna tartares I've ever had. Oh, many have been similar and all have been good, but Gotham's finally struck that elusive note of perfection. It was served molded into a little cylinder, surrounded by perfect thin circles of cucumber, and with two tall baguette slices towering toward the sky which acted as a holder for a delicious gingery herb salad. Today, the NYT miraculously published the recipe. To reccomend it, and make sure I've got the recipe if ever I need it, I'm posting the recipe here.
Recipe: Tuna Tartare With Herb Salad and Ginger Vinaigrette
Published: April 26, 2006
Adapted from Gotham Bar and Grill
Time: 1 hour
FOR THE GINGER VINAIGRETTE:
10 ounces fresh ginger
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons grape seed or canola oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with a sprinkle of salt
Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
FOR THE CROUTONS:
1 baguette, cut diagonally into 18 slices, each 1/8 inch thick
Extra virgin olive oil
FOR THE HERB SALAD:
1 small head baby frisée, rinsed, dried and torn into 1- to 1½-inch pieces
½ cup gently packed chervil leaves
1/3 cup gently packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/3 cup gently packed cilantro leaves
1 large seedless cucumber, ends trimmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE TUNA TARTARE:
1 pound sushi-grade yellowfin tuna, well chilled
6 shiso leaves, cut into narrow strips
1/3 cup very thinly sliced scallions, white part only
Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper.
1. For the ginger vinaigrette, use a food processor or medium-fine holes of a cheese grater to chop or grate ginger as finely as possible. In batches, wrap ginger in a piece of cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel, and squeeze to extract 3 tablespoons of juice into a small bowl. Whisk in lime juice and hot sauce. Gradually whisk in oil until vinaigrette has emulsified. Whisk in shallot and garlic, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover, and refrigerate.
2. For the croutons, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet, and bake until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Let slices cool, and brush both sides very lightly with olive oil. Place in an airtight container until needed.
3. For the herb salad, in a medium bowl, toss together the frisée, chervil, parsley and cilantro. If you wish, use a vegetable peeler or sharp knife to remove strips of peel about ½ inch apart down the length of the cucumber. Using mandoline or sharp knife, cut cucumber into paper-thin slices. Set aside.
4. For the tuna tartare, using a sharp thin-bladed knife and an impeccably clean cutting board, slice tuna into ¼-inch dice. Place in a mixing bowl, and add shiso, scallions and ½ cup ginger vinaigrette. Toss, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. For assembly, dress herb salad with 3 tablespoons vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste; mix well. Place a 2½- to 3-inch ring mold in center of a chilled dinner plate. Using outside edge of mold as a guide, make a ring of overlapping cucumber slices. Spoon a sixth of the tuna tartare into mold, pressing it down lightly. (If you do not have a ring mold, simply arrange a ring of cucumber slices, and shape a neat mound of tartare in center.) Stand 2 or 3 croutons in tartare, and pile dressed salad on tartare, between croutons. Carefully lift mold up and off the plate. Repeat to make 6 servings.
Yield: 6 servings