I just finished making "Smoked Salmon Vinagrette" from "Please to the Table", a James Beard Award winner on Russian cooking by Anya von Bremzen.
This has got to be one of the most delicious things I have ever put in my mouth. I multiplied the recipe by 7 for a seder tonight and this "simple and elegant appetizer or first course" is going to knock them all on their tuchuses.
Of course I had to tweak the recipe. I just can never stop myself. Instead of sliced black olives I used halved stuffed green olives for color, and because canned black olives bring nothing to the party flavorwise, and I thought kalamatas might be too strong. Instead of raw minced red onion I carmelized it and used more - probably 2 cups plus for my big batch. I used less mustard in the vinagrette and added a bit of sugar. Just make a very-slightly mustardy vinagrette that tastes really good to you. A little sugar is good, but too much would be scary, so be careful. I couldn't find tarrargon vinegar, so I used apple cider vinegar. I added minced raw sweet red bell pepper - 2 large ones for my 20 serving sized batch.
OK here's von Bremzen's version, sort of summarized, with the original amounts for 2 - 3 servings.
6 ounces smoked salmon 1/8" dice.
3 medium red potatoes, boiled, cooled, peeled, diced 1/4"
1T minced red onion
1/4 cup sliced olives
1 1/2 T minced fresh dill
1T vinegar - not balsamic.
1 tsp. dijon mustard
3 T olive oil
Make the vinagrette and mix into the other ingredients trying not to over-mix. I found it was easiest to peel the cooked potatoes with my fingers. It's better to cook them with the peels on - they don't get mushy that way. Keep a close eye on the spuds while cooking - better to very slightly undercook than overcook. Plunge into cold water right away to stop the cooking. Rinse off the capers. I used a whole bunch of dill.
I used Trader Joe's Portlock brand wild smoked salmon - 2 pounds for 20 people.
I'm going to serve it at room temp. as I just think the flavors will come alive more that way.
Serve on butter lettuce leaves.