Recipe of the week: Tomato tartar
Swiss dish with Mediterranean accents, tomato tartare is inspired by the flavors of Lake Maggiore, which borders Switzerland and Italy. While most people think of a cheese fondue, pasta, or pizza when they hear about Swiss or Italian cuisine, tomato tartare is a refreshing and light vegetarian option. This recipe uses four kinds of tomatoes […]

Swiss dish with Mediterranean accents, tomato tartare is inspired by the flavors of Lake Maggiore, which borders Switzerland and Italy. While most people think of a cheese fondue, pasta, or pizza when they hear about Swiss or Italian cuisine, tomato tartare is a refreshing and light vegetarian option.

This recipe uses four kinds of tomatoes (Ramati, Datterini, San Marzano and cherry), fresh basil, shallots, fennel, carrots, mushrooms and other herbs like tarragon. It can be recreated at home, quite easily, giving everyone the opportunity to eat like in a high-end restaurant in Europe.

Slow cooking of tomatoes in the oven gives the dish the texture of a traditional tartare and lets the flavors of the vegetables shine through in a unique and unusual way. For those who want to make the dish vegan, it is very easy to replace the sour cream with coconut milk and 1 tbsp of lemon juice, and swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth. If the vermouth is not on hand, feel free to substitute it with white wine vinegar, as it tastes similar to dry vermouth. And, if sunflower or lemon oil are not available, they can be replaced with olive oil and lemon zest respectively.

Leftover tomato broth that has not been used can be saved for later use, as it makes a great base for soups, like creamy tomato or chicken tortilla soup. Additionally, any extra cream of avocado with basil and basil mayonnaise can also be saved for use on sandwiches or wraps.

Ingredients

Scale

5 Ramati tomatoes
5 Datterini tomatoes
3 San Marzano tomatoes
10 cherry tomatoes

Cream of tomato

30 cherry tomatoes
Basil mayonnaise
1 cup of basil
4 tablespoons of soy milk
1 cup of sunflower oil

Tomato broth

1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup of balsamic vinegar
8 cups of tomato broth
1 cup of white wine
1/4 cup Nolly Prat (Vermouth)
1 cup of carrots
1/2 cup shallots
1/2 cup fennel
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
10 mushrooms
1 garlic bulb
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of tarragon

Avocado cream with basil

1 cup of basil
1 1/2 cup avocado
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne
1 teaspoon of salt
Juice of half a lime
1 teaspoon of lemon oil

directions

To make the tartare, cut the Ramati and San Marzano tomatoes and blanch them in salted water for 10 seconds. Rinse with ice water and remove the skin. Then season with salt, pepper, garlic and basil leaves. Dry in oven at 175F for two hours. While drying, combine all the ingredients for the broth in a saucepan and cook on the stovetop until reduced by half. Once the sundried tomatoes and the broth have reduced, remove the skin from the Datterini tomatoes and obtain the 10 cherry tomatoes. Cut everything into small cubes.

To make the tomato cream, cut the 30 cherry tomatoes in half and braise very slowly in a saucepan until there is no more liquid. Then mix with a blender. For the basil mayonnaise, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and strain. For the avocado and basil cream, combine all the ingredients until creamy.

Arrange the tomato tartare in a dish and garnish with the tomato cream, basil mayonnaise, avocado and basil cream and fresh basil leaves to taste. Pour the tomato broth to the bottom of the dish as a base.

Thanks to chef Marco Campanella for Restaurant La Brezza to the Eden Roc hotel for the recipe.

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The best time to visit Italy are the months of May, June, and September. Compared to the peak summer months of July and August, these months offer more comfortable temperatures and there are fewer crowds ( except around Easter ). The country experiences four classic seasons per year, although there is a marked difference between the wetter, cooler North and the drier, warmer South. The rainiest months pretty much everywhere are usually October and November.

Fall ( September – November ) : temperatures cool down gradually, although September is usually still very pleasant. Expect crisp fall leaves and some sunnier days, but plan for wet weather too. Fall carries many of the same benefits as spring, but with slightly less predictable weather.

Winter : temperatures in the South remain mild in winter, while Northern Italy is normally wet and cold. Winter in the Italian Alps is fantastic though for skiing and snowboarding, but the ski resorts do get crowded so book early.

Travelers wishing to visit Italy can use a bus, train, plane, or boat to get there. Most tourists arrive by plane though, often landing in Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport, the country’s busiest airport. This is the preferred point of entry in Italy when you want to visit Rome, or saut the entire country. Click here for a continuously updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Rome.

Although Rome is the main getaway for most visitors to Italy, it’s often easier and cheaper to fly directly to/from one of the country’s other airports. It can also save you a lot of time to book a multi-city ticket, hereby arriving in one airport and leaving from another ( for example fly in via Milan in the north and fly out Naples in the south ). The following airports are of interest for most tourist itineraries :

Milan Malpenza Airport ( north ) is the largest international airport in the Milan metropolitan area in northern Italy ( and also the main getaway to the Italian Lakes ). Click here for a continuously updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Milan.

Venice Marco Polo airport ( north ) is the international airport of Venice. It offers flights to many European metropolitan areas as well as some partly seasonal long-haul routes to the United States, Canada, South Korea and the Middle East. Click here for a continuously updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Venice.

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