Salmon Tartare with Avocado, Olives & Tarragon

Salmon Tartare with Avocado, Olives & Tarragon

I’ve been staring at my computer screen for far too long.  I’m supposed to be thinking of something clever to write about my latest rendition of salmon tartare, but my mind keeps wandering.

Looking at these tartare pictures, the only thing I can think about is when I’m going to make this again. Soon, it’s got to be soon.

This is my ideal salmon tartare.  It has enough going on to keep me interested, without overwhelming the delicacy of the fish.  This version has a luxurious base of creamy avocado and a spoonful of a tarragon oil to use as a garnish.  Bright lemon and green onions counter the richness of the salmon and a layer of minced black olives keeps the sweetness of the tarragon in check.  It’s indulgent, yet balanced, and, man, is it ever craveable.

Addictively delicious, simple to make, and impressive-looking, you’re going to want to make this salmon tartare all the time, too.  Grab your ingredients and a sharp knife and we’ll get things under way.

Finely chop the salmon.  This is a much easier feat if you pop the fish in the freezer for 15 minutes or so before you get started.  Toss the salmon with a drizzle of good olive oil, lemon zest, and sliced scallions. Taste and season with good olive oil, flaky sea salt, and pepper.  Mince the olives, slice the avocado, and pound the tarragon into a paste and combine with olive oil.

We are ready to assemble.  Do you have a fancy set of ring molds?  Show-off.  I’m improvising with a mason jar and lining it with plastic wrap so it’ll be easy to unmold.  Pack the salmon in first, press.  Spread on the olives and finish with slices of avocado.  Chill it for a couple of minutes and let it firm up while you get caught up on the dishes and pop a bottle of white.

Flip the tartare onto a plate.  Swoosh the tarragon oil across the plate or confine it to a spoon.  Serve with shards of flatbread or baguette crostini.  Drink wine.  Maybe something bubbly.  Love life.

Salmon Tartare with Avocado, Olives & Tarragon

I fully encourage you to try this tartare, but I’ll warn you: let it in once and you’ll dream of it, weekly.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Salmon Tartare with Avocado, Olives & Tarragon
Prep time
Total time
Serve the salmon tartare with crispy flatbread, crackers, or crostini. You could make individual canapés with the tartare, if you prefer.
Recipe type: Appetizer, Hors d'Oeuvre, Fish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2-4
  • 6 oz. Salmon, skin removed
  • 3 sprigs Tarragon
  • 2 Scallions, thinly sliced
  • zest of ½ Lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. Minced Kalamata Olives
  • ¼ Avocado, sliced
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Flaky Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
  1. Place the salmon in the freezer for about 15 minutes while you prep the rest of the ingredients. The fish will be much easier to cut if it is very cold.
  2. Remove the tarragon leaves from stem and smash into a paste, using mortar and pestle or a mini food processor. Combine with about 1 Tbsp. olive oil and reserve.
  3. Dice the salmon in ¼ in. or smaller cubes. Combine with sliced scallions and lemon zest in a small bowl. Dress with about a ½ tsp. of olive oil, sea salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Form the tartare. If using a ring mold, start with the avocado base. Arrange slices of avocado to cover the bottom. Sprinkle the avocado with a little lemon juice to avoid discoloration and season lightly with salt. Spread the minced olives over the avocado, and top with the salmon mixture. I used a squat mason jar, lined with plastic wrap (helps get it out in one piece) and turned it upside-down to unmold it, so I worked in reverse, packing the salmon in first, then the olives, ending with the avocado. Once you've filled your mold, refrigerate for 15 minutes or longer to help it firm up and hold together.
  5. Remove ring mold or invert jar onto a plate. Smear the tarragon oil across the plate or serve in a spoon to use as a condiment with the tartare.


  1. Elizabeth says

    Hi, this looks delicious! And lovely pictures! I hope to recreate the recipe sometime this/next week. I was wondering if you used regular salmon from the grocery store or did you get sushi grade (safe to eat raw) salmon? Thanks!

    • says

      I bought the salmon for this tartare at a fish market, but have also made it many times with salmon from the fish counter of my regular grocery store. I always let the person behind the counter know if I’m planning a raw preparation and ask for their suggestions. Also, it is recommended by most that you buy salmon that has been previously frozen, as freezing kills most of the parasites that could pose a problem. A lot of the fish you’ll find in the supermarket was frozen at sea (FAS), so this issue has usually already been addressed by the time you’re buying the fish. Bottom line? If you plan to eat raw fish (or beef), buy it from someone you trust. Sorry for the long-winded explanation…I hope you like the tartare!

        • JoAnn Boyson says

          I just made this from fresh Sockeye Salmon and our son said we are going to get sick. He said we should have bought Sushi salmon. I am scared to say the least. Are we going to be ill?

          • says

            It’s actually best to use fish that has been frozen as freezing will kill the parasites that could make you sick. If you want to read more on the topic, I found this article helpful, plus the salmon tartare recipe looks really good if you haven’t been scared off the idea all together. 😉

  2. E Sato says

    I made this Salmon Tartare last night and it really is delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and the whole family really enjoyed it. The kalamata olives really was perfect with this recipe. I almost didn’t use them but then decided to and so glad I did.

    But you really must use Sashimi Grade Salmon. Sashimi grade salmon is salmon that has been in a DEEP FREEZE (not a regular home freezer) for 3 days to kill the Parasites that Salmon gets from traveling from fresh water to salt water. These parasites are much stronger and more dangerous than the parasites that are found in just salt water fish, because they are very hard to kill once in our body.


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