Charred Salmon Crudo With Grilled Avocado and Lemon Aioli
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Charred Salmon Crudo With Grilled Avocado and Lemon Aioli showcases the flavors of the grill in a ceviche-style appetizer.
Amanda Voisard/The Washington Post
1 piece (8 ounces) sushi-grade, skin-on wild-caught salmon belly
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe, skin-on avocado, cut in half and pitted
1 large egg yolk
1 small clove garlic, coarsely chopped
Several very thin strips lemon zest (no pith)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup canola oil
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces broccoli raab, cut into ½-inch pieces
3 red radishes, cut in half and then into thin half-moons, for garnish
3 tablespoons crushed good-quality store-bought pork rinds, for garnish
Prepare the grill for direct heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to high. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area. For a very hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 4 or 5 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames. Lightly oil the grill grate and place it on the grill.
Make sure all of the fish scales are removed. Season the salmon belly lightly with salt and pepper. Grill it skin side up (uncovered) for 1 to 2 minutes or just until the flesh begins to turn a little opaque but is not cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board; use a very sharp knife to cut the salmon on the diagonal into very thin slices. Discard the skin.
Place the avocado halves on the grill grate, cut side down; grill for 2 or 3 minutes to form char marks. Transfer to a cutting board and discard the skin. Cut each half into chunks.
Combine the egg yolk, garlic, half of the lemon zest and ½ tablespoon of the lemon juice in a blender or mini food processor; purée until smooth. With the motor running, gradually add the canola oil to form a thickened aioli. Season with salt to taste; transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Whisk together the remaining strips of lemon zest and lemon juice and the olive oil in a mixing bowl to form an emulsified dressing.
Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli raab and sear until charred but crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the dressing and toss to coat, then sprinkle lightly with salt.
Spread some of the aioli on individual plates. Use tongs to arrange equal portions of the broccoli raab on top. Lay salmon slices over the vegetable, then drizzle with the lemon dressing left in the bowl. Garnish each portion with some of the avocado, radish slices and crushed pork rinds. Pass the remaining aioli at the table. Serve right away.
Serves four to six (appetizer portions).
Nutrition values per serving (assumes six): 250 calories, 24 g fat (3 g saturated) 1 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 0 sugar, 9 g protein, 55 mg cholesterol, 65 mg sodium.
Chef Victor Albisu, Del Campo, Washington DC, for The Washington Post
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