A quick and easy appetizer with layers of mashed avocado, smoked salmon tartare, and cream cheese with chives. Add a zing with lemon zest and serve it with crunchy tortillas. A perfect start of a meal for an informal or even formal dinner, or cocktail party. It's ready in just 15 minutes and you only need 5 ingredients!
This smoked salmon avocado tartare is a perfect elegant appetizer for Christmas, Valentine's Day, or New Year's Eve if you're having a seafood menu. But it's actually perfect for any kind of dinner - formal or informal.
It's quick and easy and it tastes delicious (of course, you can't go wrong pairing smoked salmon with cream cheese and avocado!). You can use normal drinking glasses - it's nice if you use glasses because you can see all the layers. But you can also make them in cocotte or use a pastry ring to make a tower on a plate as I did in this case. Also a very stunning presentation!
The best way to serve Salmon Tartare
Tartare, in general, indicates a dish of raw protein (either red meat or fish) marinated and chopped finely and usually accompanied by other side ingredients to enhance the flavor.
The most famous is the beef tartare, but I also love fish variations, like Tuna Tartare and Salmon, either fresh or smoked. If you don't feel confident using fresh fish, smoked salmon is the best alternative. It's ready to use and so delicious!
This type of tartare is served in layers with avocado and cream cheese, but you can also serve the 3 ingredients separately on the dish. There are many ways of serving a tartare, but my favorites are either inside a glass or using a pastry ring on a plate to then remove it at the last minute, leaving a nice tower of ingredients.
I top the tartare with some lemon zest and chives, but you also top it with sesame seeds, cayenne pepper, fresh dill, and so on. You can also add some lemon wedges to the plate so your guests can add more lemon juice if they prefer it more tangy.
This recipe can be either used for 2 large portions or 4 small portions. Make some tests with the quantities to find the perfect size of glasses or pastry rings for the servings.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Smoked Salmon. There are several types of smoked salmon available, and also several other smoked fish like trout. For this recipe, I prefer to use natural smoked salmon. You can also use fresh salmon to make a proper tartare, but make sure to accurately follow the safety instructions to eat raw fish.
- Avocado. Avocado has a mild flavor and creamy texture that complements the smoked salmon beautifully. Add some lemon or lime juice to give it an extra kick.
- Cream Cheese. It gives a fresh contrast between avocado and salmon. Make it more aromatic with chives, lemon zest, and minced red onion for a perfect combo. You can also substitute it with sour cream or crème fraîche.
Mash the avocado with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a pinch of cumin. (1)
In a small bowl, mix the finely chopped chives with the cream cheese. (2)
Chop the smoked salmon and season it with lemon zest, salt, and black pepper. (3)
Assemble the tartare by spreading a layer of avocado, one of cream cheese, and one of smoked salmon in a pastry ring onto the plate. Remove the ring and serve. (4)
FAQ & Tips
You can prep the salmon and the cream cheese in advance, then mash the avocado and assemble it at the last minute before serving. I do not recommend preparing the whole dish much in advance as the avocado would turn brown.
You can substitute the cream cheese with dairy-free cream cheese or omit it altogether serving only the avocado and smoked salmon in two or more layers.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. The avocado might turn brown but it will still be edible. I do not recommend freezing the leftovers.
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Smoked Salmon and Avocado Tartare
- 1 Avocado, ripe
- 3.5 oz Smoked Salmon
- 6 tablespoon Cream Cheese
- 1 tablespoon Chives, fresh
- 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon Lemon zest
- Black Pepper
- First, grate the lemon zest and set it aside. Cut the avocado in half, scoop out the pulp and roughly chop it, toss it in a food processor and immediately add the juice of ½ lemon so it doesn't turn brown.
- Season with salt, black pepper and a pinch of cumin and blend it until it's reduced in small chunks (or if you prefer you can blend it until it's smooth and creamy). Alternatively, you can also mash it with a fork.
- With a spoon or a sac-a-poche, fill the bottom of a glass (or use a pastry ring on a plate) with the mashed avocado.
- Finely chop the chives and mix them with the cream cheese. Add it on top of the avocado.
- Chop the salmon and season it with the lemon zest (to taste) and black pepper. Add it on top of the cream cheese.
- Serve the tartare with grated lemon zest and toasted tortillas or saltine crackers on a side.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.