This salmon recipe is a very old friend to me; it was one of the original dishes I created for my first restaurant, Les Quat’Saisons. In those days, sushi was not as prevalent as it is today in Britain, so I incurred a few derogatory comments from some of my guests. Today, the idea of raw fish is no longer such a shock, and this recipe has earned its place as a firm favourite at Le Manoir, albeit in a slightly modernised form.
For curing the salmon
organic farmed salmon fillet, skinned and pin-boned
For the tartare
cured salmon, see above
shallots, finely chopped
For the cucumber salad
freshly ground black pepper
cucumber, lightly salted, frozen for 3 hours & defrosted
mustard seeds, blanched for 5 minutes in boiling water to re-hydrate them
1 tiny sprig
fresh dill, picked and chopped finely
lemon segments, skin and pith removed, diced small
crème fraîche, whipped to stiff peaks
micro mustard leaves
Place the salmon fillet on a piece of cling film large enough to wrap it completely.
In a bowl, mix together the salt, sugar, lemon zest and dill and gently rub the mixture into both sides of the salmon.
Seal the cling film around the seasoned salmon fillet like a parcel and chill in the fridge for 12 hours. This process not only seasons the fish but also partly cures it, removing moisture, and gives it a wonderful texture and flavour.
Remove the salmon from the fridge and unwrap the cling film. Lift the salmon fillet and rinse it under cold running water; pat dry with a paper towel.
Dice the salmon into 3-4 mm cubes and place in a bowl. This is important as it will lend a beautiful texture to the tartare.
In a separate bowl, mix together the shallots, mustard, soured cream, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Add the diced salmon. No salt is needed as the salmon has already been lightly cured.
Cover the tartare mix with cling film and reserve in the fridge. This process is also important as it acts as a secondary marinade; the salmon absorbs all the soured cream, giving it richness.
In a small bowl, mix the grapeseed oil, vinegar, water and black pepper.
Mix the cucumber ribbons, mustard seeds and dill to the dressing and stir together well.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if required. Reserve.
Place an 11cm pastry cutter in the centre of each plate and divide the salmon tartare between them.
Level out the tartare by pressing down gently with the back of a teaspoon; it should be 1cm deep. Carefully lift off the pastry cutter.
Arrange the cucumber ribbons, lemon dice and caviar on top of the salmon.
Place two small quenelles of crème fraîche on each serving and dust lightly with a pinch of hot paprika.
Add 2 or 3 fronds of dill and finish with a few micro mustard leaves.
This recipe is adapted from the book Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons: The Story of a Modern Classic
A personal tour of Raymond's legendary restaurant-hotel through the four seasons, including 120 recipes from his celebrated kitchens. With spectacular photography of the signature dishes, luxurious rooms and ravishing gardens, and beautiful and witty illustrations throughout, the fairy tale of Le Manoir is brought charmingly to life.