The mere suggestion of tartare is enough to make me drop whatever I’m doing, run to the store for fish or a steak, grab a sharp knife, and start chopping.
Earlier in the day, someone was asking me about the salmon tartare with avocado and tarragon that I posted a few months back. That alone got the tartare wheel in motion, and then I happened upon a picture of tuna tartare with potato chips on another blog which reminded me what an excellent vehicle kettle chips are for tartare and officially sealed the deal: tartare was my dinner destiny.
Let’s take our latest batch of tartare down a summery path. We’ll dress diced salmon with a drizzle of good olive oil, fresh lemon zest, minced shallots, and a smattering of chives and liven it up with a bright tomato, cucumber, caper, and basil base. It’s going to be good and it’s going to leave you with tartare on the brain for
Gather up your ingredients and get chopping. Pop the salmon in the freezer for a few minutes so it’ll be easier to cut. Peel, seed, and dice some cucumber. Quarter a handful of grape tomatoes. Mince shallot, chop chives.
Mix the diced salmon with lemon zest, shallot, and chives in one bowl and toss all the veggies together with torn basil and capers in another.
You could just throw the 2 bowls together and start eating, but my brain has been warped by years of working in a restaurant and can only fathom tartare that’s stacked up in a fancy tower. Layer the salmon and tomatoes in a ring mold if you have one otherwise, use my trick and line a wide-mouthed 1/2 pint mason jar with plastic wrap, fill with the tartare, and invert on a plate.
Rip open a bag of good kettle chips and dig in. Yes, you made that tower just to destroy it. But it was worth it.
And it will be again next week.
- 6 oz. Salmon, skin removed
- ¼ c. quartered Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
- ¼ medium Cucumber, peeled, seeded,and diced
- 1 Tbsp. Capers, rinsed
- 6 Basil Leaves, torn
- ½ medium Shallot, finely diced, divided
- 1 Tbsp. minced Chives, divided
- zest of ½ Lemon
- Lemon Juice
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Flaky Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
- Place the salmon in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to beginning. The fish will be much easier to cut if it is well-chilled.
- Combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, capers, and basil in a small bowl with ½ of the shallots and chives. Season with salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon.
- Dice the salmon into ⅛- 1/4 in. cubes. Toss with lemon zest, remaining shallots and chives, a little olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Shape the tartare into a cylinder. Using a ring mold, make a base with the tomato-cucumber salad and layer the tartare over this. Place in the refrigerator for a few minutes to help it firm up before unmolding. If you don't have ring molds improvise with a wide-mouthed mason jar or measuring cup lined with plastic wrap (to ease the unmolding process) and invert onto plate. Serve with kettle chips, cracker, or crostini.
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