If you can’t decide between a tartare, a crudo or a salad to start your meal, i’ve got the perfect dish for you. It starts with a layer of finely chopped tuna tartare, if you have access to o-toro or any fatty cut of tuna by all cost use it, you won’t be disappointed. Thinly sliced sea scallops seasoned with lemon juice, good olive oil and pink peppercorns are arranged on top and a little salad of edible spring flowers, baby arugula and tender bits of frisee gently seasoned with more olive oil, lemon juice and sel de guerande turns this dish into something not only beautiful to look at, but delicious, refreshing and light. There’s not much more you can ask for in this warm weather.
I discovered at a dinner at Esca last year that fresh, pristine, and slightly marinated raw sea scallops have a special affinity for pink peppercorn. Pink peppercorns have a fragrant, sweet, and spicy flavor reminiscent of a mild citrus zest and sweet berries which is a match made in heaven for the sweet flavor and delicate texture of sea scallops.
Some may think edible flowers are a gimmick but used sensibly they offer a wide variety of tastes from sweet to spicy and peppery which add complexity to this dish. Of course, the quality of the ingredients is crucial to the success of this dish. It’s otherwise very easy to assemble. Enjoy!
Tuna Tartare & Scallop Crudo with Pink Peppercorn & Spring “Salad”
- serves 4
Tuna Tartare recipe:
- 1/2 pound sushi-grade tuna, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of freshly ground pink peppercorn
- 1/4 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon mirin
- salt, to taste
Scallop Crudo recipe:
- 8 sea scallops, finely sliced
- 1/2 Meyer lemon, juiced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon pink peppercorn, whole
- Sel de Guérande
For the Spring salad:
- Assorted edible Spring flowers, leaves only
- baby arugula
- frisée, tender bits only
- olive oil
- Meyer lemon
- Sel de Guérande
To assemble the dish:
- Combine all the tuna tartare ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Chill until ready to serve.
- Combine the scallops with the Meyer lemon juice and olive oil. Chill until ready to serve.
- Using pastry rings divide the tuna tartare among 4 plates. Top each tartare with the scallop crudo and some of the remaining marinade. Season with sel de Guérande and pink peppercorn.
- Season the Spring salad with olive oil, Meyer lemon juice and salt. Top each tartare with the salad. Serve immediately.