I like to pair salmon and celery root because they complement each other in texture and taste. In this dish, silky, wafer-thin slices of lightly cured salmon contrast beautifully with the matchstick-cut crunch of the raw root. The slaw is tossed in a mustardy mayonnaise-based dressing and accented with chives and parsley. Minced cornichons and capers are added to punch up the tang of the dressing and deliver textural interest. If you have time, make the slaw a day in advance of serving to allow all the flavors to meld.
Serves 6 as a first course
Celery Root Slaw
1/4 cup [60 ml] mayonnaise
1/4 cup [60 ml] sour cream
1 1/2 tsp whole-grain mustard
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp minced cornichons
1 Tbsp drained brined capers, rinsed, patted dry, and minced
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
One 1-lb [455-g] celery root
2 Tbsp finely snipped fresh chives
1 Tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
One 1-lb [455-g] center-cut salmon fillet, skin and pin bones removed
6 Tbsp [90 ml] lemon-infused extra-virgin olive oil
Flake sea salt, such as Maldon
To make the slaw:
In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, cornichons, and capers. Season with fine sea salt and pepper. Set aside.
Using a sharp knife, cut off the base and a thin slice from the top of the celery root and then cut the root in half lengthwise. Pare away the tough outer skin from one of the halves. Using a chef’s knife, mandoline, or the julienne blade of a food processor, cut the peeled half into matchsticks. Immediately add the matchsticks to the bowl holding the dressing and toss to coat them thoroughly to prevent browning. Repeat with the second half of the celery root. Add the chives and parsley and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. (This would be a good time to chill six salad plates for serving. The slaw can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.)
To prepare the carpaccio:
Using a very sharp, thin-bladed knife, slice the fish crosswise (against the grain) into 18 wafer-thin slices. Lay the slices side by side on a large baking sheet. Brush both sides of each salmon slice with the lemon oil. Season the top side of each slice with flake sea salt. Set aside for 20 minutes.
Divide the salmon evenly among chilled salad plates, overlapping the slices slightly. Spoon a generous serving of the slaw next to the salmon and serve immediately.
One convenient do-ahead step is to slice the salmon an hour in advance. Seal the cut salmon tightly by pressing a large sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the flesh, smoothing the plastic wrap to press out any air pockets, and then refrigerate the salmon. Twenty minutes before serving, remove the salmon from the refrigerator and proceed as directed.