Smoked Salmon Tartare

January 1, 2008

Smoked Salmon Tartare
Varietal: Rosé or Sparkling Wine

Serves 4 as an appetizer.

This recipe, from DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine in the Pike Place Market, makes an easy appetizer any time of year because it contains just a handful of ingredients and requires no cooking. In the summertime, serve it with a slightly chilled dry Rosé; over the winter holidays or for that special someone on Valentine’s Day, pair it with a sparkling wine from the Pacific Northwest. Leading producers include Domaine Ste. Michelle and Mountain Dome (Washington), Argyle Cellars and Domaine Meriwether (Oregon), Ste. Chapelle (Idaho), and Summerhill and Sumac Ridge (British Columbia).
1/2 pound thinly sliced cold-smoked salmon (Gerard & Dominique brand preferred)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon capers, well drained

1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons minced fresh chives

1 tablespoon minced fresh lemon thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled, plus

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Crostini (recipe follows) or mild-flavored crackers

1. On a cutting board, stack the salmon slices several slices high and cut into 1/4-inch cubes. Using a rocking motion, slice across the cubes until they are slightly smaller, but not puréed, forming 1/8-inch cubes; the salmon should still have some texture. In a medium nonreactive mixing bowl, gently stir together the salmon, olive oil, capers, and 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice if needed.

2. Add half the chives and half the lemon thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Divide the tartare among 4 small ramekins or ring molds with bottoms. Place a salad plate over the ramekin or ring mold, then invert and turn the tartare out onto the plate. If using ring molds without bottoms, place the mold on the plate, spoon in the tartare, and remove the mold. Sprinkle the remaining chives and lemon thyme over the tartare, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld and the tartare to chill.

4. Serve with the Crostini.


1 narrow loaf French or Italian bread, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1. Preheat the broiler. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet and place 3 to 4 inches from the heat source. Broil 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe reprinted from Pacific Northwest Wining & Dining: The People, Places, Food, and Drink of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia (Wiley, $34.95) by Braiden Rex-Johnson.

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