A brunch-time spread from a nouveau Jewish deli
At Mile End Delicatessen in Brooklyn, Rae and Noah Bernamoff redefine Jewish comfort food with a made-from-scratch, ingredient-driven approach. Now, in The Mile End Cookbook, the husband-and-wife team gives us the tools to re-create their restaurant’s favorites--from braised brisket to sour pickles to this smoked whitefish salad--at home. Instead of masking the bold flavor of the smoked fish with loads of mayo, the couple dresses the fish with lemon and olive oil and tosses in dill, celery, red onions, scallions and pickled asparagus to provide a range of tangy, salty and bright flavors. Served with toasted bagels or sliced pumpernickel bread, this salad is a fitting centerpiece for a delicatessen-inspired brunch.
Smoked Whitefish Salad
Recipe adapted from "The Mile End Cookbook" by Noah and Rae Bernamoff (Clarkson Potter)
One 2-pound smoked whitefish, skin and bones removed
12 pickled asparagus spears, finely diced
5 scallions, white and light-green parts only, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, trimmed and finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill
Juice of 2 to 3 lemons
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Freshly ground black pepper
Bagels or pumpernickel bread, for serving
Finely chopped fresh chives
1. In a large bowl, combine the whitefish with the asparagus, scallions, celery, onion and dill, then gently mix with your hands. Mix in the lemon juice and olive oil until just combined. Season with pepper and additional lemon juice, if desired.
2. Split and toast the bagels (or slice and toast the pumpernickel bread). Place a heaping portion of the whitefish salad onto one half of a bagel (or onto a slice of bread), season with pepper, sprinkle with chives and drizzle a little olive oil over the top. Serve immediately with a lemon wedge.
It's the details that count! Try these tips
We love pickled asparagus from the Jefferson General Store (use any leftovers in a Bloody Mary).