Arts & Entertainment

Smoked Salmon Tartar

Salmon is a perfect foil for showcasing the flavors of spring

I taught this recipe in our “Brunch Is Always a Good Idea!” continuing education cooking class recently at FVCC. What a fun opportunity to meet and share my craft with food enthusiasts in our community.

Salmon is a perfect foil for showcasing the flavors of spring, and this dish is as easy as it is delicious. Like so many great discoveries, I put this together by accident but loved the outcome. Take everything you want to pair with salmon on a bagel and you have a super flavorful spread for fresh veggies, crisp rye crackers or bagel crisps. Adjust the ingredients to your taste; sometimes I substitute minced red onion for the chives for a touch of color. Tartar is a term most associated with raw top quality beef precisely cut into very small dice, served very cold, tossed with raw egg yolks and dressed with tangy and sour garnish. In this dish, the salmon is cooked, but the combination of ingredients and serving style is similar.

Serve with a dry sparkling wine as a simple, elegant hors d’oeuvre start to brunch or a holiday dinner.


• 1 lb. smoked salmon, small dice

•3/4 cup crème fraiche or cream cheese

•1 bunch dill, fresh, destemmed & finely chopped

•10 chives, thinly sliced

• 1 tsp. Dijon mustard

• Zest of two lemons

• 3 oz. lemon juice

• Freshly cracked pepper

•1 Tbsp. capers

• Bagel crisps or rye crisps

• Fresh celery sticks, cucumber slices

1.  Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.  Taste.

2.  Present in a bowl and garnish with capers and a sprig of dill. Accompany with fresh vegetables and crackers so your guests can pick which they prefer.

Manda Hudak is the Savory Chef Instructor at The Culinary Institute of Montana at Flathead Valley Community College. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. For more information about the program, visit