Tuna Tartare With Kale-Kiwi Puree 4.000

Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post

Mar 5, 2014

An unlikely combination, this sauce, but it works. The chefs at Tosca in downtown Washington use it as the base for this fresh, simply prepared first course. They use a Robot Coupe to puree the sauce until it's very smooth, and that makes it quite elegant. But it tastes and looks good after a turn in a regular blender, too.

It's worth it to buy the best-quality fresh tuna you can find.

Make Ahead: The puree needs to be refrigerated for 20 minutes before serving; it can be made several hours in advance.

Where to Buy: Yuzu juice is available at Japanese markets and at some Whole Foods Markets.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 4 thin, young carrots
  • Kosher salt
  • Leaves from 1/2 bunch kale (4 to 5 ounces), stems removed
  • 4 kiwis
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Ground white pepper
  • 10 ounces yellowfin tuna, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • Leaves from 1 bunch mint, stacked, rolled and cut into thin ribbons (julienne)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon yuzu juice (may substitute fresh mandarin orange juice)
  • Finely chopped chives, for garnish
  • Handful microgreens, for garnish (optional)


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Peel and trim the carrots. Add the carrots to the pot to cook/blanch for 3 minutes, then use tongs to transfer them immediately to a plate to cool. Pat dry, then cut crosswise into thin rounds. (You will be using the pot of water again.)

Return the water in the pot to a boil over high heat. Add a generous pinch of salt, then the stemmed kale leaves. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, then use tongs to transfer the leaves to a colander to drain. Cool, then rinse and squeeze the leaves to extract as much moisture as possible. Transfer to a cutting board; cut the kale into small dice, placing half of them in a blender as you work. Reserve the remaining half.

Peel the kiwis; cut each fruit into 4 pieces and add to the blender along with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season lightly with salt and white pepper. Puree until smooth, then add the remaining kale and puree until as smooth as possible. With the motor running, gradually add 2 tablespoons of oil; the sauce will become visibly creamier. Transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

When ready to serve, toss the tuna, mint and all but a few tablespoons of the carrots together in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the citrus juices. Season lightly with salt and white pepper.

Divide the kiwi-kale sauce among individual plates, spreading it to cover the center. Arrange equal amounts of the tuna mixture at the center of each plate.

Garnish the tartare with the chives. Sprinkle the remaining carrots and the microgreens, if using, around the plates; serve right away.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From executive chef Massimo Fabbri and chef de cuisine Riccardo Rinaldi of Tosca in the District.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.