Sometimes it’s hard to know what to serve as an hors d’oeuvre or appetiser, but here’s a fail safe Mediterranean option. This salmon carpaccio is from the wonderful new food, culture and recipes book by Lucio Galletto and David Dale, Coastline – The Food of Mediterranean Italy, France & Spain (Murdoch Books). We’d say there won’t be much of this left on the platter at your next soiree.
Salmon carpaccio with anchovy salad (Carpaccio alla capponada)
Carpaccio is a much abused term in modern restaurants. The dish was originally made with raw beef, and in the early 1960s Harry’s Bar in Venice named it in honour of the deep red colouring in the paintings of Vittore Carpaccio, who died in 1526 without ever eating the dish that took his name. Nowadays the term has been extended to include any raw ingredient, which means it is applied to the sliced raw seafood that used to be known as crudo. For this appetiser, we’ve paired the raw fish (more pink-coloured than Carpaccio-scarlet) with a classic Ligurian crunchy-bread salad.
300 g (101/2 oz) sashimi-grade salmon, swordfish or tuna, in one piece
18 green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
6 anchovy fillets, chopped
1 teaspoon salted capers, rinsed and dried
1 teaspoon finely chopped oregano
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 slices of Italian bread
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF).
Thinly slice the fish and arrange on four plates. In a bowl, place the olives, anchovies, capers and oregano. Mix with the vinegar and a tablespoon of the olive oil.
Cut the bread into small cubes and place in a small bowl. Add the garlic and a splash of olive oil and mix well. Place on a baking dish and bake for about 2 minutes on each side, until crispy. Drizzle the lemon juice over the fish, then the remaining olive oil.
Arrange the caper and olive mixture on top of the fish. Scatter the bread on top, season with salt and pepper and serve.