At first glance, the sockeye salmon crostini at Spur in Seattle seems beautiful, but plain. Smoked salmon on toast? Had it. But the dish, which has been on the menu since the restaurant opened in 2008, has a number of tasty secrets.
First of all, the salmon isn’t smoked. Chefs Dana Tough and Brian McCracken brine the fish, cold-smoke it on ice and sous vide it. When it comes out, the salmon appears raw but is just warm enough to delicately flake apart. Secondly, that’s not crème fraîche on the toast, like you would think—it’s homemade mascarpone.
“We make the mascarpone in the style of an old recipe we dug up from Italy,” Tough says. “They used tamarind concentrate rather than tartaric acid, and it lends a nutty quality.” It’s old-school Italian meets Seattle gastronomy.