This light appetizer can be whipped up really quickly when you’re pressed for time.
Or take it a step farther and do a little cure on the Salmon, if you have a little extra time. It really kicks it up a notch. But even if you skip that curing part this is a really easy and tasty starter, or appetizer for a crowd. The curing step will take a day or two, so plan on that ahead of time. If you’d prefer to just jump right into the simple version here we go….
Home Cured Salmon Tartare with Avocado
This simple first course or appetizer can easily be doubled or tripled for a crowd. When using it as a first course, I like to mold it with a round biscuit or pastry cutter to add a little elegance to the dish as individual servings. If you plan to serve a crowd you can just as easily put it in any bowl or mold you like. Lining the bowl or mold with plastic wrap will make the un-molding a whole lot easier, and prettier! Then surround the tartare with crackers or toast points. Sometimes I use thick slices of cucumber with the seeds scooped out as an alternative to crackers. ( just keep a little bit of the seed so it makes a little bowl for the tartare. A small melon baller works great for this) As a garnish, any fresh herb you have on hand always lend a nice fresh touch and a bit of color to your presentation, here fresh Dill again would be great.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1-2 hours to chill
- Total Time: 17 minute
- Yield: 4
- Category: starter
- 1/2 lb of fresh Salmon ( To cure it at home see below)
- 1 Tbls capers
- 1 firm avocado
- 2 Tbls Mayonnaise
- 1 Shallot chopped fine
- 2 Tsp fresh lemon juice
- salt & pepper to taste
- optional: 1 tsp of hot sauce or horseradish
For the curing mixture…
- 1/8 c brown sugar
- 1/8 c sea salt
- 2 Tbls chopped fresh dill
- Finely chop the shallots, place in a medium bowl
- Cut salmon into 1/4 inch cubes, add to shallots without mixing
- Cut avocado in half, remove the seed. With a sharp knife make vertical cuts through the fruit being careful not to cut through the skin. Then make horizontal cuts to create 1/4 inch cubes. Gently scoop out the fruit with a wide flat spoon. Add this to salmon and shallots, again do not mix yet.
- In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, salt, pepper, lemon juice and fresh dill ( & hot sauce if using) until smooth.
- Add the capers to the salmon mixture and toss 2-3 times with a fork very gently.
- The add the mayonnaise mixture and toss again lightly but thoroughly.
Now mold your portions. If using a bowl, place the mixture in the lined bowl and press gently but firmly. Cover chill for at least 1 hour (can be made 1 day ahead). Then un-mold and decorate your serving plate with fresh herbs and lemon slices.
For individual servings chill the mixture before molding. I like a round pastry or biscuit cutter, or a small ramekin works well too. Firmly press the mixture into the mold and plop it on the serving plate. A nice fresh lettuce leaf on each plate is a nice backdrop for the molded tartare. Garish with a very thin slice of lemon and a sprig of dill. Voila! Easy Peasy!
Gravlax style Salmon Curing
This is really gravlax simplified. Rinse and dry the salmon fillet. Line a plate with foil then plastic wrap. Mix 1/8 c brown sugar and 1/8 c sea or Kosher salt in a small bowl. Rub both sides of the fillet thickly with the salt mixture. Heavily dust with dry dill or chopped fresh dill to cover the top of the fish. Then tightly wrap the plastic around the fish, then wrap the foil snuggly. Pop it in the fridge for a least 24 hours or up to 3 days. Turn daily, and roll the fish around in the juices it creates each time you flip it. When ready, pat dry and cut it into cubes and proceed with the tartare recipe.
To serve as a gravlax appetizer:
Unwrap and pat the fish dry. Thinly slice and serve on crackers or small pumpernickel toasts with a little mustard sauce and a tiny dill garnish. Delish!!!