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Monday, May 29, 2017

Tuna Tartare with Capers on Beet Carpaccio Recipe- Paleo and Delicious


The other day I was looking for a fancy dish to make for a nice meal, but didn't want to spend too much money on it, saw some beets in my fridge and capers I'd just foraged, and got inspired to make this dish, tuna tartare with foraged capers and sow thistle capers on beet carpaccio. I first saw my friend Ben make a dish similar to this; his plating was an inspiration for mine.
Carpaccio is a dish invented in the 1950s and originally made with paper thin slices of beef topped with olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, and salt, and more recently people have started making meatless versions of it out of beets.
Tartare is typically made from raw meat or fish, onions, capers, and seasonings, and is similar to the raw fish ceviche.

When I made this dish, my entire family was in love, and the dish itself, despite its fancy appearance, was relatively easy to make and quite frugal. Tuna steaks, I'm sure you're thinking, are not remotely frugal, but if you compare the price per pound with canned tuna, tuna steaks typically work out to be significantly cheaper. I used just one tuna steak for this recipe and stretched it with lots of capers and onions and it was enough to serve as an appetizer for our entire family. The fish in this recipe cost me about a dollar, the beets about 35 cents, the onion was free, and the rest of the ingredients were so insignificant in terms of cost- a fancy appetizer like this for under $1.50, approximately the price of a can of chunk light tuna locally, definitely a frugal dish, even factoring in the tuna steak.
If you want to do a more fish heavy dish, and not have such a high onion to tuna ratio, you're welcome to do so, it will just increase the cost, and it tasted fishy and delicious enough like this, so I wouldn't change anything.

In terms of safety and raw fish, I'd suggest you do your own research about what types of tuna that you can locally buy are safe to eat raw. Sushi grade tuna would work, for example.

I used a combination of homemade foraged pickled capers and sow thistle capers (recipe in my book Penniless Foodie in the Wild, now available in Kindle version as well as print, on Amazon) in my recipe, but you can use store bought pickled capers or any mock capers, or a combination thereof in this recipe.

If you want to keep this vegan and/or lower the costs, you can simply make the beet carpaccio, thinly slice a raw onion and scatter it on the beets along with capers, before adding the rest of the toppings, and it tastes delicious and looks beautiful, albeit a little less so, that way as well.

Tuna Tartare with Capers on Beet Carpaccio Recipe- Paleo and Delicious

Tuna Tartare Ingredients:
1 tuna steak
1 small onion, ideally red onion
2 tablespoons pickled capers (real capers or mock capers or a combination)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2-1 teaspoon sweetener - I used jaggery syrup, but honey, date syrup, coconut sugar, or white sugar are also fine (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper (optional)
1/2-1 teaspoon salt
Beet Carpaccio Ingredients:
3-4 small beets or 1-2 large beets
Olive oil
Lemon Juice
Salt
Ground pepper
Capers for garnish (optional)

Instructions:
1. Remove the skin from the tuna steak, and chop the tuna up into small pieces. You'll notice a few tough white parts in the meat closest to the skin. Remove this tough part from the fish. (I just pulled the meat off of it with my fingers; it wasn't difficult.)

2. Dice your onion finely, and add it with your capers to your tuna.

3. Add olive oil and lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and let marinate for 20 minutes.

4. Taste, and if desired at this point, add sweetener and more salt and pepper.

5. Peel your beets and cut very very thin slices. Paper thin slices work best. If you have a mandolin, use that, and if not, just use your knife very carefully. You want to end up with whole or nearly whole slices of beets for aesthetic purposes.

6. Lay your beet slices out on a large plate, in a circle around the edges, somewhat overlapping each other, so that they look like petals on a flower. Use more beets to fill in the middle of the plate, again going in a circle shape.

7. Drizzle your beets with a small amount of olive oil and lemon juice, and sprinkle salt and pepper on it.

8. Carefully spoon your tuna tartare into the middle of the beet flower. A ring mold is helpful for this, but I didn't have one, so didn't use one.

9. If you want, add additional capers around the tuna tartare for a garnish.

10. This can be served immediately, but in my opinion, is even better when refrigerated an hour or two before serving.

Enjoy!

Ever have tuna tartare before? Would you ever make it?
What about beet carpaccio? How do you serve yours?
What is your favorite fancy appetizer on a budget?

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