Ingredients (4 Servings):
6 Ripe stem tomatoes well ripened
30gr (1 oz) Shallots
50gr (2 oz) pitted large black olives (salt brine cured such as Nicoise or Greek Kalamata)
10gr (1/2 oz) Fresh minced garlic
1/4 Bunch Chives
1/4 Bunch Fresh Sweet Basil
12 Spears of Asparagus
Vinaigrette (recipe below)
4 sun-dried tomatoes
10 cl (1/2 cup) Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil (Provençal for the intended taste)*.
15 gr (1/2oz) Black Truffle Paste (while different in final taste, a crushed black olive paste can be used ).
2cl (1.5 tblsp) Balsamic Vinegar.
Preparation and cooking:
Mix 10 cl (1/2 cup) olive oil, 2cl (1 1/2 tablespoons) balsamic vinegar and 15 gr (1/2 oz) black truffle paste or truffle oil (or crushed black olives could be used, even a little caviar d’aubergine (see recipe for Rouget).
1. Dip tomatoes into boiling water for 10 seconds, remove and then plunge into ice water to loosen skins. Remove the skins, cut into quarter wedges and scrape out seeds.
2. Chop the remaining flesh into 1/2 cm (1/4”) cubes and set aside.
3. Finely chop the garlic, shallots, black olives, chives and sweet basil and mix them together with olive oil, then add the tomato cubes and mix well together.
4. Cook the asparagus in boiling water for 6 minutes, then remove eight of the heads to place on top and thinly slice the rest lengthwise using a kitchen harp.
5. Using a cookie cutter or other 3” round ring form, center and form the tomato mixture on a plate about 1.5 cm high (3/4”). Remove form.
6. On top of the tarter, place the thin sliced asparagus shafts plus a head or two per serving on the top. Add a whole olive, a slice of sun-dried tomato, a thin slice of Parmesan and decorate with a sprig of rosemary, thyme or leaf of sweet basil.
7. Decorate the plate with drizzle of the truffle vinaigrette and then a drizzle of olive oil which can also be drizzled over the tomato tartar and serve.
* If an olive oil from Provence cannot be obtained, choose an olive oil that is also fruity and has a bite rather than a mild, gentle oil.
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