Tartare of Marinated Wild Salmon with
in 1998 I was working for Raymond
Blanc when he opened his le petit Blanc
brasserie in Cheltenham. One of the first starters,
and one of the most popular, was this dish. I found
it both novel in its approach and very tasty as a starter
- a refreshing light dish.
lost the recipe and it is only recently that I rediscovered
it on Monsieur Blanc's web site - as I worked hard for
him back in those days he hopefully will not mind me
reproducing it here to share with you.
g (1 lb) wild salmon fillet
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
zest of 1/8 lemon, finely sliced
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons soured cream
salt and freshly ground white pepper
1/2 medium cucumber
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons non-scented oil
4 tablespoons soured cream
1 tablespoon caviar, salmon eggs or lumpfish roe,
a small bunch of fresh dill
the salmon at least 12 hours (even 2 - 3 days) in advance,
but do not leave in the marinade for more than 12 hours.
After this time, wash and dry the fish and keep refrigerated,
wrapped in clingfilm.
cucumber salad can be prepared 2 or 3 hours in advance.
The garnish can be prepared and the dish dressed 1 hour
in advance - keep in a cool place.
(20 minutes, plus 1 hour resting and 12 hours marinating)
the skin and gently tweeze out any stray bones.
the salmon on a piece of clingfilm large enough to
enclose it completely.
a bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon salt, the sugar,
sliced lemon zest and dill and gently rub the mixture
into both sides of the salmon.
the clingfilm like a parcel and place in the bottom
of the fridge for 12 hours.
least 30 minutes before serving, unwrap the salmon,
rinse under cold running water and pat dry with a
the salmon into 3 mm / 1/8 in cubes and place in a
a separate bowl, mix together the mustard, soured
cream, lemon juice and 4 turns of pepper, then mix
in the salmon cubes.
the seasoning and leave in a cool place for 1 hour.
Meanwhile make the cucumber salad.
(5 minutes, plus 30 minutes resting)
the cucumber, halve lengthways and scoop out the seeds
with a teaspoon.
finely (I use potato peeler), place in a colander,
sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes to remove
the indigestible acids.
under cold running water, pat dry and place in a small
the wine vinegar, oil and 2 turns of pepper and mix
the skin and pith of the lemon and cut out the segments,
slicing them into wafer-thin triangles.
the dill in cold water to prevent wilting and cut
off the tiny fronds.
ready 8 small white plates and a pastry cutter.
the pastry cutter in the centre of a plate and fill
it nine-tenths full with salmon.
down gently with the back of a teaspoon.
with a teaspoon of soured cream and smooth over with
a metal spatula.
lift off the pastry cutter.
the salmon with overlapping slivers of cucumber and
arrange a circle of lemon triangles on the top; arrange
a little mound of caviar in the centre.
arrange the fronds of dill around the edge like a
royal garland - highly appropriate!
only wild or the best farmed salmon for this dish.
Do not cut up the marinated salmon too finely, or
it will be like eating mince; too large and it will
look unattractive. Serve the tartares with brioche
or hot toast, but prepare the toast at the last moment,
or it will be horribly soggy. Remember British Rail!
appetit . . .