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September 2002 BOSTON
Tuna Tartare with Grapefruit Vinaigrette and Sorbet
Thomas John, Mantra - Boston, MA
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 4 appetizer servings

This light and refreshing starter perks up the palate for whatever's to come. I think the citrus tang tastes best in summer, but you can use this recipe year-round, as long as the tuna you buy is the very best quality available.

Make grapefruit sorbet:

  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ginger, minced (if you can find the pickled variety, use that)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoons horseradish

Combine all ingredients in an ice cream maker and process until firm.

Make grapefruit vinaigrette:

  • 4 large grapefruit segments
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger, minced (again, try to find pickled)
  • 1 Tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1/4 Teaspoon horseradish

Crush grapefruit segments, then add other ingredients, including salt and pepper to taste.

For the tartare:

  • 3/4 pounds tuna
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

Chop the tuna coarsely, then, in a chilled metal bowl, combine it with the oil and salt.

To Assemble:
Pour the grapefruit vinaigrette over the tuna, toss lightly, and mold the mixture onto the center of a plate. At Mantra, we garnish the plate with cucumbers in yogurt and marinated radishes, but feel free to add any cold salad fixings. Top with a melonball-sized scoop of sorbet. For an upscale touch, put a teaspoon of osetra caviar on top to finish.

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