Salmon and Halibut Tartare with Fennel,
Chives, Avocado, and Pistachio Oil

4 Servings

Salmon and Halibut Tartare with Fennel, Chives, Avocado, and Pistachio Oil


One sunny weekday in September, I accompanied students from our Provence cooking school to a wine tasting in Fabrice Langlois and Michel Granier-Poncet's wonderful wine bistro, Vinoe & Co, in Avignon. They offered this stunning first course, a variation on the usual tartare. The chef set the colorful salmon and halibut mix on a bed of braised fennel, offering a pleasant crunch and an appealing variety of textures. If you can, use the pistachio oil here, for it marries beautifully with the richness of avocado.

Equipment: 4 chilled large dinner plates; a 4-inch-ring mold (optional)

  • 1 large bulb fennel, trimmed and cut into thin slices
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 ounces well-chilled, ultra-fresh skinless Pacific halibut fillet,
         cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 8 ounces well-chilled, ultra-fresh skinless salmon fillet,
         cut into 1-1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 scallions or 1 small spring onion, white part only, trimmed, peeled,
         and cut into thin rings
  • 1/2 cup finely minced fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into a chiffonnade
  • 1 large ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • About 1 tablespoon best-quality pistachio oil (such as Leblanc)
         or extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fleur de sel

1. In a small skillet, combine the fennel, olive oil, and the salt. Sweat—cook, covered, over low heat until soft and translucent—for about 8 minutes. Drain, and divide among the plates.

2. Place the halibut and salmon in a large bowl. Add the scallions, chives, basil, and avocado. Add just enough pistachio oil to lightly coat the tartare, tossing gently. Season with fleur de sel and toss once more. Mound the tartare on top of the braised fennel. (Or place a mold over the fennel and spoon a portion of the tartare into the center of the mold, pressing down lightly. Remove the mold.) Serve.

Wine Suggestion: That day, Fabrice and Michel served the almost creamy-textured Sancerre from François Cotat, with enough minerality and fruit to marry beautifully with the fish duo, herbs, and vegetables here.

  • from:
    Salad as a Meal
    Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season
  • by Patricia Wells
  • William Morrow Cookbooks 2011
  • Hardcover; 368 pages; $34.99
  • ISBN-10: 006123883X
  • ISBN-13: 9780061238833
  • Reprinted by permission.

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This page created June 2011

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