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RECIPE: Carolize Coetzee’s Tomato Tartare

RECIPE: Carolize Coetzee’s Tomato Tartare

When they were first brought to Europe people called them “the poisoned apple” because they thought them to be poisonous. Aristocrats would get sick after eating them, and the appearance of the plant, which was similar to that of Deadly Nightshade only gave them more reason. In reality, however, the high acidity of the tomatoes was leaching lead from the pewter plates that everyone used at the time resulting in deaths from lead poisoning, but the humble tomato got the blame.

Today tomatoes are acknowledged to be extremely healthy and are a recommended part of the modern diet. Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.

The fruit has come a long way from when barber-surgeon John Gerard published a book called Herball in 1597.  In it Gerard described ‘the whole plant’ as being ‘of ranke and stinking savour.’ This opinion lasted 200 years before it was finally overcome, and thank goodness it has, because if it had not then we would not have this delightfully light, and extremely healthy Tomato Tartare dish developed by Tokara’s Carolize Coetzee.

Our only recommendation is that you do not serve the Tomato Tartare on pewter plates.

If you like this you may also like: RECIPE: Carolize Coetzee’s bright lights spinach stems

Tomato Tartare

Tomato tartare with consommé, crispy capers and celery ribbons

This tomato tartare with consommé, crispy capers and celery ribbons is a perfect, light and extremely tasty lunch or starter. Recipes RECIPE: Carolize Coetzee’s Tomato Tartare European Print This
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 4 large tomatoes
  • Tokara Multi Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Maldon salt flakes
  • fine black pepper
  • 200g red cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 large tomatoes (as ripe as possible),
  • cut into quarters
  • 10 large basil leaves
  • Maldon salt flakes
  • 6 large stalks of celery
  • 100g capers (in brine)
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • Exotic Cherry Tomatoes
  • 200g exotic cherry tomatoes
  • 20ml Tokara Multi Varietal Olive Oil
  • 15ml red wine vinegar
  • fine black pepper
  • Maldon salt flakes
  • nasturtium leaves
  • basil leaves


For the tomato tartare, bring a medium pot of salted water to the boil.

Cut a cross into the skin at the bottom of each tomato. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water for 30 seconds, transfer to a bowl of ice water. Once cool, peel off the skins. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and remove the seeds. Set aside the skins and seeds for the tomato consommé. Pat dry the tomato quarters before dicing into small cubes and placing in a bowl. Season with salt flakes and black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and mix thoroughly.

For the tomato consommé, liquidise all the ingredients, including the skins and seeds from the tomatoes in the tartare, into a fine pulp. Pour the mixture onto a muslin-covered sieve over a bowl. Leave to drip for as long as possible, pushing the liquid out of the pulp using the back of a large spoon.

Slice the celery into thin ribbons. Soak in ice water until they start to curl, remove and shake off any excess water.
For the crispy capers, drain off the brining liquid from the caper jar and fill with cold water. Seal the jar and shake well. Repeat three times, before straining. Squeeze out all the water from the capers using your hands. In a saucepan heat the oil and butter together. When the butter starts to foam, add the capers and fry until crispy, stirring constantly. Remove the capers and leave on paper towel to absorb the oil.

Prepare the exotic tomatoes by cutting in half. Pour over the vinegar and olive oil and mix with a spoon. Season to taste.

Spoon the tomato tartare onto the centre of each bowl. Arrange the celery ribbons and exotic tomatoes around the tartare, then pour in the consommé until about a third of the tartare is covered. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the crispy capers on top. Garnish with nasturtium and basil leaves.

Wine suggestion: Tokara Blanc de Blanc MCC 2012

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