Smoked Salmon with Toasted Corn and Avocado Puree

“We smoke our own salmon at the restaurant, which takes about four days,” says David Van Morrelgem, chef of Upstairs in Montclair. “It’s time consuming for the home cook, so a good store-bought smoked salmon can be used. Fresh sushi-grade salmon or tuna works as well.”

House-smoked salmon with avocado purée, crème fraîche and corn.
Photo by Laura Moss.

“If the store-bought smoked salmon comes skin on, save it. Remove all the scales and roast it in a 400-degree oven for about 6 or 7 minutes until crispy. It is delicious crumbled on top of the dish.”

Serves: 4


Chili Lime Vinaigrette
2 tbs. fresh lime juice
½ tsp. chipotle powder or cayenne
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. whole-grain mustard
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 cup extra virgin olive oil


1.    Put first 6 ingredients in blender and blend at high speed. Slowly add the olive oil until it is fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

Smoked Salmon


1 lb. smoked salmon, ¼” slices
2 ears fresh sweet corn
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tbs. thinly sliced parsley
1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
1 tbs. fresh lime juice
1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
4 tbs. crème fraiche


1.    Shuck the corn and remove all the silk. Place the ear on a hot grill and toast it, turning so the whole surface toasts evenly. Set aside to cool.
2.    While corn is cooling, place avocado, lime juice and 1 tsp salt in a food processor and purée until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl every 10 seconds. Once smooth, and with the machine still running, drizzle in the olive oil. Purée until all the oil is incorporated.
3.    Once the corn is cool, slice the kernels from the cob and put them in a mixing bowl.
4.    Add the red onion, parsley and the dressing. Mix well. Season to taste with salt.
5.    In the center of a chilled plate, place ¼ of the avocado purée and, with the back of a spoon, spread it into a thin layer.
6.    Place ¼ of the corn salad in the center of the purée.  
7.    Place 3 to 5 slices of salmon on the plate so they lean on the salad.  
8.    Top with 1 tbs. crème fraiche.
9.    Repeat for the other 3 plates.

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