For this variation on classic salmon gravlax, Anya von Bremzen cuts the fish into small cubes before adding salt and sugar, so it cures quickly—overnight instead of over several days. She serves the tartare as an hors d’oeuvre with blini (it’s also great with crackers) or as a first course by itself, with pretty, green dill oil and smoked salt.
3/4 pound skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon smoked salt
1 cup lightly packed dill, thick stems discarded
1/2 cup canola oil
1 ice cube
1 Persian cucumber, finely diced (1 cup)
2 red radishes, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon vodka, preferably lemon vodka
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Quick Buckwheat Blini, for serving
How to Make It
In a medium bowl, toss the salmon with the lemon zest, sugar, 2 teaspoons of sea salt and the smoked salt. Cover the fish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the dill, canola oil and ice cube and puree until nearly smooth. Strain the oil through a fine sieve into a glass bottle or bowl, pressing gently on the solids.
Stir the cucumber, radishes, vodka and olive oil into the salmon and lightly season the tartare with sea salt. Serve the tartare with blini and a drizzle of the dill oil.
The dill oil can be refrigerated overnight. Serve at room temperature.
To serve with this tartare, Anya von Bremzen makes lemon-infused vodka by simply steeping the peel (minus the pith) of 1 lemon in vodka for a day. The tartare would also go well with a similarly bright, citrusy white wine like an Albariño.
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