Tomato Roses – they stole the show!


I thought I would be clever and post a recipe called ‘Crab-filled Fish Paupiettes with White Wine and Butter Sauce.’ Photographing fish on a plate can look quite bland, so I decided to add a Tomato Rose to the plate to add more colour. I wound up liking the Tomato Roses so much, I decided to forget about the fish (for awhile) and instead feature these little roses.

Tomato Roses are so easy to make- all you do is peel the tomato skin (like an apple) and wind the peel up tightly to form a ‘rose’ (see directions below). These roses are so versatile, you can use them for just about anything. After I made the roses, I started walking around the house saying to myself, “Hmmm, what else could I use a Tomato Rose for?”

Well, you could place one in the middle of a salad as a centrepiece feature:


Or, you could use the roses as a table centrepiece for a more formal dinner. Here, I placed three tomato roses on a glass cake stand. I think the arrangement looks quite nice and a tomato rose is a lot cheaper than buying real roses!


The more I look at these roses, the more I think they look real! What do you think?

Now back to my original recipe- ‘Crab-filled Fish Paupiettes with White Wine and Butter Sauce.’ This recipe involves rolling a piece of flat fish around some crab filling, poaching it in liquid on the stove top, then finishing it with a white wine and butter sauce. The crab stuffing is easy to make, but you do need to make sure you don’t overcook the fish. For the wine/butter sauce, you need to gradually whisk in the cold butter pieces to ensure that the sauce thickens properly.

The recipe often uses Sole fish since it is flat and thin, making it easy to wrap around the stuffing. However, I haven’t seen Sole where I live, so I use either Flake fish or Red Snapper.

Crab-filled Fish Paupiettes with White Wine and Butter Sauce


A few pointers before we begin:

1. Flatten the fish before adding the filling; shape it so that a wider end is nearest to you and the farthest end tapers into a narrower point.


 2. Spread the filling on the fish, leaving a margin of about 1 inch around the edges. Roll up the fish, starting with the wider end nearest you.


3. Poaching liquid for the fish should cover at least 1/2 of the fish.



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Crab-filled Fish Paupiettes with White Wine and Butter Sauce
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Fish pieces rolled in a crab filling and cover with a rich white wine and butter sauce.
  • 4 fish pieces (Sole, Red Snapper or Flake)
  • For the Filling
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 - 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) heavy cream
  • 8 ounces crab meat
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. chopped chives
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • For the Fish and Sauce
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 - 3 tbsp. butter
  • 200 ml (~ ¾ cup dry white wine)
  • 200 ml (~ ¾ cup chicken or fish stock)
  • 80 g cold butter, cubed
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. For the Filling
  2. 'Sweat' the chopped shallots in butter under medium heat until they are translucent in colour. Add the flour and stir.
  3. Add the dry white wine and stir until the liquid has reduced ⅓ in volume.
  4. Now add the heavy cream, crab meat, lemon juice, chives and seasonings.
  5. Prepare the fish- flatten each fish piece and shape so that the fish is widest at the part nearest you and tapers off to a point.
  6. Spread the filling on top of each fish piece, leaving a 1 inch margin around the edges. Roll up each fish piece, starting with the wide part nearest you. Each piece should not be too bulky, but should be rolled rather tightly. Set these aside while you prepare the poaching liquid.
  7. 'Sweat' the chopped shallots in butter over medium heat in a large skillet until translucent in colour. Add the wine and stock and then place the fish pieces in the skillet with the seam side facing down. Cover and poach until the fish are cooked (around 10 minutes).
  8. Remove the fish pieces and place in a casserole to rest while preparing the sauce. Cover the fish with a little of the poaching liquid to keep moist.
  9. Transfer 1 cup of the poaching liquid to a smaller saucepan and bring to a medium heat. Now gradually add one cube of butter at a time and whisk until the sauce gradually thickens. Add the chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Serve the fish on a plate and cover with the sauce. Add a Tomato Rose as a garnish, if desired.


How to Make a Tomato Rose

1. Starting on the bottom of the tomato, cut a circle with a knife, to begin the paring of the tomato skin.


2. Continue cutting the skin of the tomato with a width of about 1/2 inch, as if paring an apple. Cut in a circular motion while turning the tomato.


3. When you get towards the end of the tomato, reduce the width of your paring cuts. After you have finished, the tomato skin should look like a long snake. With the shiny side of the tomato skin facing outward, start curling the skin into a tight rose shape, finishing with the base of the tomato.


4. When you get to the end, tuck the base of the tomato under the rose. Finish by adding several basil leaves for decoration.


19 thoughts on “Tomato Roses – they stole the show!

  1. Just brilliant! Those roses are beautiful. What a great idea. I love the idea of using them as a center piece. I shall be having a go at them very soon. And your fish dish looks fantastic too. So delicate – a very elegant dish. Love the photo tutorial too. x

  2. Your Crab-filled Fish Paupiettes look so delicious, but I have to say I’m truly impressed by your work-of-art tomato roses!!! I peel tomatoes (I get very strange allergic reaction when I eat peels) but now I have very good reason to decorate my plate with it. I need to practice though. 🙂 Beautiful!!
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