If you ask an average person about tartare he will instantly think of a popular mayonnaise-like condiment, although originally tartare was a dish served with this sauce: some finely chopped raw meat on a piece of bread. It’s a pity that people start to forget about this elegant type of a toast since, if you make it really small it can act as a fabulous amuse-bouche or, if you go for a bigger size, it will be a spectacular entrée.
Ideally you should use a slightly cured meat for tartare: marinated in some spices, herbs and lemon juice, vinegar or even wine and other spirits. My favourite type of tartare is the one made with salmon. Slightly cured fish is readily available in many countries but I for one prefer to marinate it myself – especially now, in winter, when there is a fine selection of fresh herbs and you can choose any of them (love dill – the perfect combination with the seafood!), together with spices, to impart any flavour to the meat.
The authentic tartare should, of course, be served with a raw egg yolk. To say true, I never serve my tartare with it – only for breakfast I can add a soft-poached or a boiled egg to the plate. And don’t get too surprised: I really have sometimes tartare as my first meal of the day. In the long run, if it’s ok to have a toast in the morning, then why should it be wrong to have something very similar to it, just a bit more fancy?!