Some time ago I wrote about how I invited my parents to dinner and then realised that I had to come up with a menu that I could make in minutes (almost) without calling the pizza delivery service. As a starter, I served them a fennel and smoked salmon carpaccio which I tought was quite a success. It's light and refreshing, the fennel's distinct aniseed taste somewhat mellowed by the olive oil and lemon juice. And it really put me in the mood for the rest of the meal, the way a starter should. You could make this with raw salmon, just place in the freezer for a little while, it will be easier to slice. As you can see on the picture, my fennel slices fell apart, if you can, try to make large, yet very thin slices.
Fennel and smoked salmon carpaccio (serves 4)
- 1 fennel bulb
- 12 slices of smoked salmon
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2-3 tablespoons of good-quality extra virgin olive oil
- salt and peper
Whisk the lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper together. Slice the fennel very thinly and place it in a large, shallow dish. Drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil. Mix carefully in order to evenly coat the fennel. Lay the salmon on top and pour the rest of the dressing over, again making sure that it's distributed evenly. Cover with cling film and let marinate for about two hours in the fridge. Remove from the fridge about thirty minutes before you want to eat. Serve with some crusty bread.
When I made this, I actually didn't have time to let the carpaccio marinate for so long, I served it after about 30 minutes. It was very good but if you wait longer, the lemon juice will make the fennel tender and slightly "cook" the fish.