Makes 6 first-course servings
The time-consuming part of this dish can be done earlier the day you plan to serve it. Just cover the individual plates with plastic wrap, stack them in pairs, and keep them in the refrigerator. Use the best balsamic vinegar you can afford.
1-1/2 pounds salmon fillet with the skin on
and any pin bones removed,
that has been frozen (see page 117 in the book),
from the tail end, in one piece
3 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons salt, preferably sea salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
15 fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons salmon roe or caviar (optional)
Slice the salmon into thin slices as you would smoked salmon by pressing a flexible knife against the salmon, in the middle of the fillet, so the blade actually bends a little. Then slide the knife toward the tail while holding your left hand against the salmon to keep the flesh compact and make it easier to slice. Lift your hand up every few seconds so you can see the blade through the salmon and regulate the thickness of the slices by making minute changes in the angle of the knife. Keep repeating this, starting about an inch farther back for each slice. Don't worry if your pieces are small or irregular—slicing raw salmon thin takes some practice and small pieces will still look good on the plate.
Arrange the salmon slices on chilled plates. You can arrange the slices so the center of the plate is completely covered or you can trim the slices and arrange them on the plate to form a perfect rectangle. Don't overlap the slices.
Combine the vinegar and salt in a small bowl. Rub the basil leaves with a teaspoon of olive oil—to keep them from turning dark during chopping-and chop them just before serving. Combine the chopped basil and the rest of the olive oil with the vinegar-salt mixture. Drizzle the mixture over the salmon on each plate. Arrange tiny mounds of salmon roe or caviar on each serving and serve immediately.
by James Peterson
Stewart, Tabori & Chang
$19.95, June 2001
160 Pages—65 Recipes, 50 Full-Color Photographs
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created March 2002
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