IMG_2202When souvenir eating in Sweden, one thing I didn’t expect was the abundance of “tartare” (also spelled “tartar”) dishes on the menus.

We had herring tartar, squid tartar and (sorry, Rudolph!) even reindeer tartar. But one of my favorites was the salmon tartar.

Whether you use store bought smoked salmon or  super easy (and less expensive) homemade Skinny Swedish Gravlax for this recipe, this is an elegant appetizer loaded with flavor and protein but low in calories that takes just minutes to make.


This recipe is easily multiplied according to how much salmon you have to work with.

2 c chopped smoked salmon or Swedish gravlax

1/2 c Persian cucumber, chopped fine

1/4 c shallot, minced

1/4 c capers, chopped

1/4 c fresh dill, minced

2-4 T fresh lemon juice (This is a matter of taste…my kids like less lemon, I prefer more.)

1/4 c light mayo or reduced fat Vegenaise (Regular vegetarian mayo is much lower in fat and has no cholesterol compared to real mayo but it has almost the same calorie count, so find the reduced calorie version if you can.)

IMG_1731Gently mix all together and pack into a bowl(s) or ramekin(s). Chill for an hour before un-molding onto serving plate. Serve with Light Rye Wasa BreadMelba toast, sliced cucumbers and/or oven roasted red potato slices.

If you like, you can top it with lumpfish caviar to make it pretty. (Watch out for prices on this stuff…at some markets it’s 5 dollars but at others it’s 20. I have no idea why prices vary when the brand is the same but when I see it for 5 bucks, I buy a dozen jars!)


If you prefer less or more dill, shallots or capers, customize accordingly. Sometimes, when I want more crunch and fewer calories, I throw in a few tablespoons of minced celery. And though the original recipe from Helene Henderson’s great book The Swedish Table (on which I based this dish), called for mayo, I’ve made it with light sour cream as well. It’s slightly less salty that way and just as delicious.

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