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This salad has some texture

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New York Times photo

Whitefish salads are most often drenched in mayonnaise, masking the distinctive smoky, salty flavor of the fish and covering up the crispy celery and onion. In this lighter, fresher salad, included in my new cookbook, My Life in Recipes (Alfred A. Knopf, 2024), the celery adds a tiny bit of texture while the herbs complement without overpowering. A minimal amount of mayonnaise adds silkiness as freshly squeezed lemon juice brightens, letting the fish dominate. The only tricky part is to make sure you remove all the bones. Serve this whitefish salad as a dip; a spread for matzo, bread or bagels; or as a topping on leafy greens, cucumber rounds or endive spears.

Whitefish Salad

• 2 (packed) cups flaked smoked whitefish (about 12 ounces)
• 1/2 small white onion, minced
• 1 stalk celery, minced
• 2 fresh dill sprigs, minced
• 1 lemon, juiced, or more to taste
• 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, or more to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper

Put 1 1/2 cups of the whitefish into a medium bowl. Finely mince the remaining 1/2 cup, then gently stir it into the flaked fish.

Add the onion, celery, dill, lemon juice and mayonnaise and stir to combine. Taste it, and adjust as you like, with more lemon or mayonnaise. (The lemon really makes this whitefish salad shine.) Season to taste with pepper. Whitefish salad keeps, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

Total time: 15 minutes, makes about 2 1/4 cups.

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