Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Salmon Tartare

        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?!

Recipe adapted from “School of gastronome” magazine


300 gm salmon fillet
½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
½ red onion, finely chopped
½ bunch of dill, chopped
½ bunch of spring onion, chopped
6 slices of rye bread
1 tbsp capers
a few springs of dill

1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
½ bunch of dill, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste

Curing mixture
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
½ bunch of dill, chopped


  1. Mix all the ingredients for curing and rub them into the salmon. Cover the fish and leave in the fridge for one day.
  2. Chop the fish finely and mix with all the vegetables and herbs.
  3. For dressing, mix Dijon mustard with vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper till the sugar dissolves. Keep whisking, add oil in a thin and steady stream. Stir in the chopped dill. Add about 3 tablespoons of the dressing to the salmon mixture – just enough to help it bind together.
  4. Cut 6 rounds out of the slices of bread – the same size as the moulds or tins in which you’re going to set the tartare.
  5. Line your tins with a cling film and fill with the salmon mixture. Top with a piece of bread, pressing it gently. Cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
  6. To serve, invert the moulds on a plate. Remove the cling film and garnish with capers and springs of dill.

            You will get much more dressing than you need for your tartare (it’s just more difficult to make a lesser amount of it as you have to control the mixture while whisking to make sure that the oil emulsifies). The rest of the sauce keeps well for up to one week in the fridge and is delicious with any fish preparations.

1 comment:

  1. I love the look of this dish as well as the flavours. In mini version, this would make a lovely amuse bouche for a Christmas cocktail party!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...