‘Hold on to traditions to make amazing memories’
It has been that time of year again for the traditional girl’s crayfish party that we started maybe 3 years ago. The setting is intimate as we are such a small group and we just listen to music, dance on chairs and talk about what’s going on in our lives. The jumbo crayfish always taste as amazing and we indulge in them for many hours. Before crayfish I made a small beetroot starter and it turned out to be a real hit, so I thought I would share the recipe with everyone. The tartare is more like a welcome from the kitchen due to its adorable small size and I can see this being a much-created dish as we approach the holiday season closer to December. Traditionally, we ate some porcini soup for main course along with a pannacotta for dessert. As I’m writing this post, it really feels like summer has come to an end as it is pouring with rain and days are much colder. Slowly it feels like we are transitioning to the autumn season and I’ve even noticed slight changes in the colour of the trees. Candles are on every evening and you just want to snuggle up inside when it’s storming outside. We have one more crayfish party to hold, which we will optimistically have on our new house plot that we purchased this spring. There is an old sauna house (that will be torn down next year), that we painted white, made tables and set up with candles that hopefully will create an adorable setting for our friends.
Beetroot Tartare with Fig & a basil wasabi dressing
Ingredients (serves 4) * For this recipe you also need rubber gloves and a circular cooking mold
- 5 ready cooked beetroot
- 1 granny smith apple
Basil Wasabi Dressing
- 1 cup basil
- ½ cup herb flavoured cream cheese
- ½ garlic clove
- 1 shallot
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon runny honey
- 2 teaspoons wasabi
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- Salt/pepper to taste
- Lemon juice (optional)
- 4 figs
- Almond flakes
- Twigs of thyme
Toasted almond flakes: in a hot dry pan, cook some almonds flakes in a pinch of salt until golden brown.
For this recipe, I am using pre-cooked beetroots that you can buy from the store that come in a sealed vacuum pack with a little bit of the beet juice inside it. First, I add 5 beetroots into a food processor and pulse them into a paste. Take out the beetroot and place into a bowl. Put some rubber gloves on and take all the beetroot mush into your hand. Squeeze all the juices out. You will have to do this a few times. Then pulse a sour green apple into small pieces in the food processor and mix it together with the beetroot mush. Season with black pepper and salt. Place into a bowl and into the fridge.
Meanwhile make the basil wasabi dressing for the tartare. Gently wash your food processor as you will use it again. Add a handful of basil into the food processor and pulse into small pieces. Add in 1 shallot and ½ garlic and continue pulsing so everything breaks down into small pieces. Then add 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon of runny organic honey, 2 teaspoons of wasabi paste, 1-2 tablespoon of olive oil and continue to pulse. Add in a pinch of salt and pepper and ½ cup of herb flavored cream cheese. Pulse into a creamy consistency and check for the flavor. If you feel like it is missing something, you can add a squeeze of lemon juice for that extra punch. Place the dressing into a bowl, cover with foil and come back to it when you are ready to serve.
Ready to plate:
Take out 4 small plates and a circular cooking mold to help create the tartar shape. Take out the beetroot bowl from the fridge and put on rubber gloves. Divide the beetroot into 4 sections. Taking the first section of the beetroot into your hand and again squeeze the excess liquids into your sink. With the help of a mold, put the beetroot into it and pat it down onto the center of the plate. Do this to the rest of the plates. Keep in mind that the reason you squeeze out all the excess beetroot liquid is so that the tartar is able to keep a solid circular shape.
Then take a fig and slice it horizontally and vertically from the top (not all the way down however). Then push the fig with the ends of your fingers from its bottom so the meat separates into a beautiful shape. Place 1 fig on top of each tartare. Add a dollop of the wasabi basil dressing on top of the fig and garnish with black pepper and toasted almonds in salt. Also add a few twigs of thyme for a delicate touch.