Verlasso Salmon Carpaccio 4.000

Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post

Mar 5, 2014

This is an impressive, elegant first course that is surprisingly easy to assemble. Chefs at Tosca in downtown Washington like to use Verlasso salmon, sustainably farmed in Chile. It is available at Fresh Markets and through purveyors who buy from Samuels and Son.

The taste (and cost) of caviar is not for everyone; finely diced seedless cucumber may be substituted. You'll need a very sharp, thin knife for the fish.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • One 10-ounce skinless center-cut salmon fillet, well chilled (preferably Verlasso brand; see headnote)
  • 1 bunch dill
  • 10 to 12 chives, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
  • 2 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 ounce sturgeon caviar (optional; see headnote)
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Have 4 dinner-size plates at hand.

Use a thin, very sharp knife to cut very thin slices of salmon, working on a slight diagonal, forming pieces that are no larger than the center of your palm. It's okay if they have a few holes or open spots. As you work, arrange the pieces around the center of one plate, forming a disk of salmon that’s about 6 inches across. The pieces can overlap slightly. Repeat with the remaining salmon and plates; you might not use all of the salmon.

Cover each plate tightly with plastic wrap. Use the bottom of a small saucepan to gently press each disk of salmon (through the plastic wrap), smoothing each one into what looks like a homogenous disk. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to several hours.

When ready to serve, chop the dill and finely chop the chives.

Unwrap the plates. Scatter the dill, chives and pomegranate seeds on top of each salmon disk. Spoon or pipe small dollops of mascarpone on top of each salmon disk. Spoon small dollops of the caviar, if using, around the mascarpone.

For the dressing, whisk together the juice and oil, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Drizzle over each portion. Sprinkle a little salt on each one. Serve right away.

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Recipe Source

From executive chef Massimo Fabbri and chef de cuisine Riccardo Rinaldi of Tosca in the District. An earlier version of this recipe contained incorrect sourcing information for Verlasso salmon. It is available at Fresh Markets and through purveyors who buy from Samuels and Son.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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