If you're looking for something elegant to serve to guests, sometimes the answer is counterintuitive: don't cook. Cut.
You see steak tartare in a lot of restaurants, and it's definitely possible to make at home, but tuna tartare is a little less daunting, and when I found this tuna-beet tartare recipe in Michel Richard's Happy In the Kitchen, I knew it'd be perfect for two things: a) blogging about, and b) serving.
So really all you do for this tartare is cut cubes of beet, tuna, and jicama, and then toss them in a dressing of soy sauce, lemon juice, and olive oil. That's it. Oh, you do roast the beets first. And add some chives at the end. Chefs do love their chives.
1. For the tuna itself, the colder it is, the easier it is to cut cubes. You can even put it in the freezer for a few minutes to firm it up. But your tuna cubes are not going to be as super-perfect as your beet cubes. That's okay.
2. You're going to have a lot of leftover beet scraps and tuna scraps and jicama scraps from the curved sides of those things, but that's okay too. Use the nicest-looking pieces for company and keep the scraps for yourself. I had a lot of goat cheese and beet salads for a couple days after serving this at a party. Mmmmm, scraps.
3. You can do 90% of this ahead -- always my favorite feature of entertaining recipes -- but don't be tempted to do 100%. The acid in the dressing will turn the tuna gray if you leave it too long. So cube everything up and store the cubes together, mix the dressing up separately, and don't pour the dressing over the top until right before serving.
Easy-peasy, as Jamie Oliver would say.
(Yes, I used two different colors of beets, because that's just how I roll. Unnecessary, but extra-pretty. Note that the red beets will stain everything they come in contact with, so some of your jicama will turn pink. Not a tragedy.)
For serving, we just included the whole bowl as part of an appetizer spread and let people serve themselves with a big spoon, but you can also spoon individual servings into endive leaves and serve from there.
I decided against serving them this way myself because my endive leaves were very large and therefore more bitter than I'd like, which is fine when you're serving them with something rich and creamy and sweet, but not so much with something austere like the tuna-beet tartare.
That said, how many times can I say "pretty"? Look how... attractive.
(If your endive leaves are small and tender, this could work. You could also serve it on some kind of rice cracker, if you spoon it on immediately before serving. But we found eating it off a plate with a fork was a pretty workable, and well-received, option.)