Carpaccio di salmone affumicato (Smoked Salmon Carpaccio)

Frankantipasti, Veneto37 Comments

Carpaccio di salmone affumicato (Smoked Salmon Carpaccio)

Here’s an elegant yet quick and easy starter that would fit perfectly into just about any menu: Carpaccio di salmone affumicato, or Smoked Salmon Carpaccio.

Classic carpaccio, of course, is made with thinly sliced beef. But the term carpaccio has evolved into a kind of passepartout for any number of dishes featuring thin slices of meat or fish, typically dressed with a light vinaigrette and perhaps some aromatic herbs. In this incarnation, thin slices of smoked salmon are dressed simply with an emulsion of oil and lemon, to which I like to add just a pinch of finely minced parsley. If you like, you can gussy up your carpaccio with all sorts of garnishes: a few capers, shaved fennel, arugula, even pomegranate seeds. Whatever strikes your fancy, really.

Smoked Salmon Carpaccio is simplicity itself to make, but it makes quite the impression, so it’s apt for a special occasion. To me it’s an ideal way to begin a cenone di san Silvestro, or New Year’s Eve dinner on a simple but elegant note. That means less time in the kitchen, and more time sipping champagne and enjoying the evening with your loved ones. I call that a win-win.

Ingredients

Serves 4-6

  • 500g (1 lb) smoked salmon, thinly sliced

For the dressing:

  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • A few leaves of fresh parsley, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 dl (1 cup) olive oil

For garnish (optional):

  • Capers
  • Shavings of fresh fennel
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Arugula
  • Avocado wedges
  • Pomegranate seeds

Directions

Arrange thin slices of smoked salmon on a plate (if you like, over a bed of tender greens as pictured).

Then, whisk together all the dressing ingredients together until you have a smooth emulsion. Spoon this over the salmon slices.

Allow the salmon to macerate for just 5 minutes or so before serving, topped with one more garnishes, if you like. Some crusty bread to go with is always welcome.

Notes on Smoked Salmon Carpaccio

As we’ve pointed out on this blog, the original carpaccio, as invented by Giuseppe Cipriani for his renowned Venice bar, was made with sliced beef fillets, pounded paper-thin then dressed with a creamy mayonnaise-based sauce.  The charm of using smoked salmon, of course, is that you can buy it pre-sliced, which eliminates an awful lot of work. And the resulting contrast of orange and green, while not true to Carpaccio’s style of contrasting reds and whites, is lovely to behold all the same.

The choice of smoked salmon is up to you, but I particularly like Nova Scotia, the kind used for lox and bagels, as its only lightly smoked. For a more decisive smokiness, you could opt for Scottish smoked salmon. Personally I find sockeye salmon’s darker color and fishier flavor less appealing as a carpaccio, but if you like it don’t let me stop you.

And obviously, you want to best quality olive oil you can manage to find, although I would opt for a lighter one, perhaps one from Liguria. Those very fruity and green olive oils, as wonderful as they are, could overwhelm the flavor of the fish.

And speaking of which, go light on the lemon juice. You want just enough to brighten the olive oil but no more. Since lemons vary in size and acidity, you may want to start with a few drops and add more to dressing until you’re pleased with the results. Also true for the salt. It may come as a surprise that you’d need any, but a small pinch, just enough to enhance the other flavors without drawing attention to itself, is what you want.

Variations

As mentioned above, the basic recipe for Smoked Salmon Carpaccio lends itself to a huge variety of garnishes. I’m partial to either laying my carpaccio on a bed of tender greens, or else topping it with arugula leaves, which pairs particularly nicely with smoked salmon, I think. But the list given in the ingredients list are really just examples. Let your imagination run wild!

Besides its usual role as a starter, Smoked Salmon Carpaccio can double as a light pescatarian main course as well.

Making Ahead

You can plate the salmon well ahead, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re almost ready to serve. The dressing, too, can be made ahead. Let the salmon come back to room temperature, then nap it with the dressing and top with any garnishes. What I wouldn’t do, however, is dress the salmon too far ahead of time as the dressing will become overwhelming if the salmon is left to macerate too long.

Carpaccio di salmone affumicato

Smoked Salmon Carpaccio
Total Time15 mins
Course: Antipasto
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: raw, seafood

Ingredients

  • 500g 1 lb smoked salmon thinly sliced

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 small lemon, juice of freshly squeezed
  • A few leaves of fresh parsley, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 250ml 1 cup olive oil

For the garnish (optional):

  • Capers
  • Shavings of fresh fennel
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Arugula
  • Avocado wedges
  • Pomegranate seeds

Instructions

  • Arrange thin slices of smoked salmon on a plate (if you like, over a bed of tender greens as pictured).
  • Then, whisk together all the dressing ingredients together until you have a smooth emulsion. Spoon this over the salmon slices.
  • Allow the salmon to macerate for just 5 minutes or so before serving, topped with one more garnishes, if you like. Some crusty bread to go with is always welcome.

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37 Comments on “Carpaccio di salmone affumicato (Smoked Salmon Carpaccio)”

  1. I agree, the orange with the green is really beautiful! And it sounds incredibly delicious. 🙂 ~Valentina

  2. This sounds like a wonderful appetizer, Frank! We’ve been on the same length lately as I just picked up a pack of smoked salmon from the store the other day. (I used mine to top flatbreads.) I personally love a good Scottish smoked salmon, but I’ve found that difficult to find in our area. Either way, this is an awesome recipe. It once again highlights the fact that the best meals are sometimes the easiest! Happy New Year, my friend!

  3. This is definitely an elegant way to start any menu! Thanks, Frank. We never think of serving smoked salmon as a course, usually more as an appetizer. The simple olive oil and lemon sounds perfect for this. I don’t think it needs to gussied up at all.

  4. Love the addition of pomegranate seeds! I don’t like salmon much, but I do love smoked salmon-and we have lots of it here in Canada, so I will have to remember this way to serve it. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Buon Anno, Cristina

  5. Found the title first read rather interesting – I have often served beef carpaccio as a starter . . . and smoked salmon naturally is a firm favourite . . . but /carpaccio’ ? I do serve mine rather similarly to yours . . . just not named it thus 🙂 ! Shall see what friends think next time around . . . Meanwhile health and happiness for the year to come and thank you for all the meals one has had reaching into the screen throughout the year . . . l

  6. Such a terrific dish! Tons of flavor and so pretty. Plus the flavor must be marvelous! Really nice — thanks. Happy New Year!

  7. Love this! I don’t like fresh salmon, but love it smoked (a lighter smoked salmon, tbh). Would like this all year long! Happy New Year to you, too, Frank! Hope it only brings good things! xx

  8. a simple and elegant plate. my favourite carpaccio is made from swordfish, which is lovely in Rome. best wishes and a happy new year, shayma

  9. Beautiful — I will have to give this a try and serve with some greens as a main course, just for a light dinner. I love how simple and flavorful everything is. And now I'm totally craving beef carpaccio with a lovely drizzle of truffle olive oil!

  10. What a great read, thanks for sharing. I looked through your posts and had to stop as I was getting hungry. What a wonderful way to remember your grandmother.

    My foodblog is Oyster Food and Culture, unfortunately I cannot get the open ID to work, so am signed in with my other ID

  11. the contrast is so appealing in this dish, whatever the ingredients…Frank, I just love reading your posts, they are always so informative…

  12. WOW! That is what I had for dinner last night along with a salad of arugala, artichokes and tomatoes. It was a nice light break from all the heavy Christmas and New Year food.

  13. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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