Tuscan salmon tartare as inspired by Nigellissima.

Tuscan salmon tartare

As mentioned in a previous post, on most Wednesdays we’ve been enjoying variations on ceviches, tiraditos, and even straight-up raw fish dishes. Normally I’d try switching things up on the fish front, but to be honest we’ve been doing really well with salmon–our Whole Foods has been able to stock some great fish at a pretty reasonable price, so while I’ll try the occasional black cod or another white fish when I can, more often than not I come back with a nice fillet of salmon for the evening’s dinner. 

While I’ve been favoring a more Latin approach to our fish dishes using ingredients like mangoes and jalapenos and avocados, sometimes I find myself craving something a little different. I’m a fan of tartares as evidenced by the steak, tuna, and tomato versions I’v featured over the years, and when I found a tuna tartare recipe from Nigella Lawson while flipping through Nigellissima, I knew that I could sub out the tuna and use salmon instead. 

Because salmon is fattier than tuna, I honestly think it works better in a tartare because it’s easier to get a finer dice of the fish without losing that buttery texture. It also melds well with Nigella’s simple list of ingredients to go into the tartare, and when combined with arugula or spring mix, it makes for a refreshing, light, and satisfying dinner any night of the week. The lemon zest adds brightness, the capers brininess, and the scallions a satisfying crunch

This is a dish I’ll be making regardless of the time of year going forward, because in the summer it will help refresh me, and in the colder months, it can serve as a lighter comfort food as well as a reminder that warmer days will return eventually.

Tuscan salmon tartare

Adapted from Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson

Feeds two hungry people for dinner

  • 2 cups baby arugula or spring mix
  • 1 lb raw salmon, skin and pin bones removed
  • 1 large lemon
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 2 TB drained capers 
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt for garnishing (optional)

Divide the greens between two bowls or plates and arrange into a ring.

Using a sharp knife, cut the salmon into small, 1-inch chunks onto a cutting board, and then chop the fish into a fine dice, letting the salmon spread out on the cutting board into a rough rectangle.

Zest the lemon over the salmon, and then add the scallion, capers, kosher salt and black pepper and mix it gently with your hands to combine. Divide the salmon mixture between the two bowls.

Cut the zested lemon into wedges and use one wedge per bowl to squeeze lemon juice onto the greens (avoid the salmon at first), and then drizzle the olive oil over both bowls. Garnish with a little flaky sea salt, if desired, and serve with the remaining lemon wedges to squeeze onto the tartare to your taste.

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