Smoked Salmon with Dressed Greens
This beautiful appetizer is delicious, and incredibly simple: a wide band of sliced smoked salmon circles a salad mixture of greens and edible flowers. The dish is accented with chive mayonnaise. Chef William O’Callaghan begins his demonstration with a whole fresh-caught salmon, which he fillets, then smokes. This recipe begins with the salmon already filleted and smoked, although you could do all of the preparation of the salmon yourself if you are lucky enough to obtain a whole fresh salmon. O’Callaghan takes off the fillets, which he soaks in salt for 3 hours, washes, then dries overnight. He cold-smokes his salmon for 3 hours. He cuts his slices in very thin layers from the top center of the fillets until he gets the length and width he wants.
- Chive Dust
- Fresh Chives - 1 bunch, trimmed and roughly chopped
- Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
- Balsamic Vinegar - 1/2 cup
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Chive Mayonnaise
- Home-made Mayonnaise - 1 cup (see Cooking Basics)
- Chives - 0 to , minced
- Clove Garlic - 1, minced, then mashed
- Cool Water - 1 tablespoon
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- Cold-smoked Salmon - 4 large paper-thin slices, approximately 4 inches by 9 inches
- Mixed Baby Salad Greens - 2 cups (rocket, green and red oak leaf lettuces, butterleaf lettuce)
- Chives - 6 to 8, chopped
- Chervil Sprigs - 4
- Pansies, Violets, or other edible flowers - 8
- Whole Chives - 8
To make the chive dust: Preheat the oven to 200 F. Place a rack in a baking pan and cover with a layer of cheesecloth. Spread the chives in a thin layer over the cheesecloth. Place in the oven, leaving the door open. Check in 8 minutes; if not completely dried, continue drying, checking every 2 minutes, until completely dried out. Remove and let cool. Whirl in a food processor or blender, or put in a plastic bag and crush to dust with a rolling pin. Store sealed in a plastic bag.
To make the vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse 4 or 5 times until emulsified. Set aside in a non-aluminum container until ready to use.
To make the chive mayonnaise: Stir all ingredients together. The mixture should be thin enough to drizzle from a spoon; thin with additional water if necessary. Refrigerate in a non-aluminum container until ready to use.
Cover a work surface with plastic wrap or waxed paper. Lay the salmon slices on the work surface. Toss the greens and chopped chives in the vinaigrette. Individually place greens on one end of each salmon slice, layering them and orienting all the stems so that the bottom edges line up with the bottom edge of the salmon. Place a chervil sprig on each. Roll up the salmon, circling the greens. Stand a salmon roll on each plate. Dust one side of each plate with chive dust. Drizzle a thin circle of chive mayonnaise around each plate. Put two flowers in each salmon roll. Stand two chives in the top of each roll.