|(Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)|
Everyone wants to eat lighter foods this time of year: fresh vegetables, herbaceous undertones. Inspired by tuna tartare, chef Rob Morotto of Metropolis Cafe came up with asparagus tartare ($9.95). “I love to have veggie options on the menu,’’ says Morotto. “It’s different from a regular salad or side dish.’’ In his tartare, asparagus is diced and blanched (it maintains a crunch but doesn’t taste raw). He adds chopped tomatoes, shallots, and capers for brightness and tang; the elements are bound with mashed avocado and basil puree, which enhance all the ingredients. He forms the mixture into a round cake and surrounds it with drizzles of syrupy balsamic vinegar aged more than two decades and olive oil. Caramelized crispy fried leeks are the icing on the cake. Metropolis Cafe, 584 Tremont St., Boston, 617-247-2931, www.metropolisboston.com.