Smoked salmon carpaccio with grapefruit and shaved asparagus

Smoked salmon carpaccio is the ultimate summer dish! Smoked salmon gets lightly marinated in lemon juice then topped with grapefruit slices, shaved asparagus and toasted pine nuts. An elegant dish to enjoy as starter or main course. Surprise your guests with this grapefruit salmon carpaccio with raw asparagus!

A delicious summer dish: grapefruit and smoked salmon carpaccio with shaved asparagus and toasted pine nuts. Serve it as a starter or as a light lunch.

Carpaccio is a dish that originated in Veneto, Italy, in the second half of the 20th century. The original preparation consisted of thinly sliced raw beef slices served with lemon juice, olive oil and shaved parmesan. The recipe was inspired by a dish from Piemonte, carne cruda all’albese, one of my favourite meat dishes growing up.

The term carpaccio has later expanded to include all sorts of raw meat or fish preparations where the condiment consists of lemon juice and olive oil. Other common toppings apart from shaved parmesan are truffle flakes or rocket salad. You can even make a vegetarian carpaccio: the meat or fish is replaced by thin slices of raw fruits or vegetables such as watermelon, beet or grapefruit. Pink/red fruits are generally preferred as they resemble the most the meat in the original recipe.

Carpaccio is an uncooked dish. The lemon juice marinade affects the proteins of the meat causing denaturation, a process that also occurs in cooking. Cooking requires the use of heat, though, that in carpaccio is absent. So despite achieving denaturation by action of the lemon juice, the meat in carpaccio – or fish like in this recipe – does not get properly “cooked” and it is still raw when served.

More Italian starter inspo from the sea: Italian shrimp cocktail.

Grapefruit and smoked salmon carpaccio with raw asparagus.

Smoked salmon carpaccio

You can make salmon carpaccio using either fresh or smoked salmon. Cold-smoked salmon is smoked raw – again there is no heat here affecting the food. In this recipe I am using smoked salmon, the variety that has been cold smoked. Hot-smoked salmon is sold in fillets and has the flaky texture of cooked fish. Since you cannot slice it thinly as cold-smoked salmon, I do not recommend using it in this recipe.

In this smoked salmon carpaccio I am also adding thinly sliced red grapefruit. The combination of smoked salmon and grapefruit was something I had tasted many years ago at a wedding reception. A crossing between a fish carpaccio and a vegetarian one, this was a flavour combination I really wanted to recreate. Lemon juice and olive oil are the only condiments used, and instead of classic rocket I decided to top my salmon carpaccio with raw asparagus.

Smoked salmon, asparagus and grapefruit: ingredients to make grapefruit salmon carpaccio.
Cold-smoked salmon is often sold already thinly sliced – perfect for carpaccio!

How to make smoked salmon carpaccio

Here are the ingredients needed in this smoked salmon carpaccio recipe:

  • 200 g cold-smoked salmon
  • 30 ml lemon juice
  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • 3 asparagus stalks
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts

The first thing you need to take care of is to marinate the salmon. You will need 30 ml of lemon juice, that corresponds to about a half lemon. Place the smoked salmon slices over a plate and pour the lemon juice over the salmon slices. Let marinate for about 10-15 minutes, which is just about the time it takes to get all the other ingredients ready.

Smoked salmon marinated in lemon juice.
Let the smoked salmon marinate in the lemon juice for 15 minutes.

To prepare the grapefruit slices begin by cutting off the top and bottom end of the grapefruit. Place the citrus on the bottom cut and with a paring knife slice away the peel cutting from top to bottom. You want to remove all the skin leaving the fruit pulp exposed. When done, roll the grapefruit to the side and cut thin slices horizontally.

To make shaved asparagus, first clean and dry the stalks. Slightly bend the bottom part to snap off the woody end and discard. Place the raw asparagus on a cutting board and proceed to shave it lengthwise with a vegetable peeler. Flip the asparagus over to easily shave it from both sides. Heads may snap off as the asparagus gets thinner. Reserve the heads for decoration. If the asparagus is fresh and young you don’t need to peel it before shaving.

Lastly, you need to toast the pine nuts. Heat the pine nuts in a skillet on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Keep a constant eye on them and move the pine nuts continuously to prevent them from burning. As soon as they get golden, transfer from the skillet to a small plate and set in the freezer to cool them down quickly. At this point you should have all your ingredients ready to be used. The salmon slices should have turned slightly paler now after marinating in the lemon juice for 15 minutes.

Lemon marinated salmon, shaved asparagus and thinly sliced grapefruit.

  • Now you can start to assemble your smoked salmon carpaccio. Transfer the marinated salmon slices to a serving plate, placing them slightly overlapping and curling them lightly for a fluffier effect. Arrange halved grapefruit slices here and there on top of the salmon slices. Slide some citrus slices under the salmon, too.

Raw asparagus salmon carpaccio with thinly sliced red grapefruit.

  • Drizzle the olive oil on top of the shaved asparagus, gently toss with your fingers and then place shaved asparagus on top of the smoked salmon and grapefruit slices.
  • Nicely arrange the asparagus slices following their curly shape. Don’t forget to add the asparagus tips in there, too.
  • Lastly, add the pine nuts. I like to drop some on top of the salmon carpaccio, as well as around the sides, on the serving plate.

Smoked salmon carpaccio, grapefruit, shaved asparagus.

You can serve this smoked salmon carpaccio as a starter or as a main course. As starter, it serves 3-4 people, but as main course it will be enough for one person, 2 if adding some bread or salad on the side. The salmon, olive oil and pine nuts all deliver some good fats, so this dish is also healthy while being so incredibly delicious.

Grapefruit salmon asparagus with shaved asparagus. Smoked salmon carpaccio with shaved asparagus and grapefruit.

Got leftovers?

Bought a bigger packet of smoked salmon and got some over? Use it to make these fantastic ravioli with smoked salmon and potato filling. Or how about this classic Italian salmon pasta dish, penne al salmone e vodka? If you’re looking for a cold dish, you may want to try these Scandinavian deviled eggs with salmon mousse (skip the eggs and just have the mousse if you’re not in the mood for eggs!).

As for the asparagus, my favourite way to have it is definitely as risotto: Asparagus risotto with pistachio. Pine nuts go great in this pesto potato salad. I don’t have any recipes with grapefruit… Tell me, apart from having some freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, what should I make with it? I feel like I’m missing out…

Smoked salmon carpaccio with shaved asparagus and grapefruit.
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5 from 12 votes

Smoked salmon carpaccio with grapefruit and asparagus

A delicious smoked salmon carpaccio with thin slices of grapefruit and shaved raw asparagus. A perfect summer recipe that is also rich in healthy fats!
Course Starter
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 102kcal
Author Eva


  • 200 g cold-smoked salmon
  • 30 ml lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • 3 asparagus stalks
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts


  • Lay smoked salmon slices over a plate and pour lemon juice on top. Let marinate for about 15 minutes.
  • Slice off the top and bottom of the grapefruit, then proceed to cut off the peel with a paring knife, exposing the citrus pulp. When peeled, thinly slice the grapefruit horizontally, then halve the round slices.
  • Clean and dry the asparagus stalks. Lightly bend them to snap woody end off. Shave the asparagus stalks using a vegetable peeler and flipping them halfway to easily shave them from both sides. Reserve heads if they snap off.
  • Heat the pine nuts in a skillet on medium heat. Move them around constantly to prevent burning for about 5 minutes, until golden. Remove from the skillet and place in the freezer for a couple of minutes to cool.
  • Place marinated smoked salmon slices over a serving plate, slightly overlapping and curling the slices to create more volume. Add halved grapefruit slices. Drizzle olive oil on the shaved asparagus and lightly toss with your fingers before adding to carpaccio. Top with cooled roasted pine nuts.
Nutrition Facts
Smoked salmon carpaccio with grapefruit and asparagus
Amount Per Serving
Calories 102 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 12mg4%
Sodium 392mg17%
Potassium 170mg5%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 502IU10%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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  1. Shelley May 18, 2020 at 16:45

    5 stars
    This is a reallllllly fantastic post! I learned so much, and I’m ridiculously excited to try this unique recipe! It’s an absolutely gorgeous dish, and with all your amazing tips and lovely method shots, I feel so confident that I can get it just right. Thank you for such great inspiration and truly useful info to support it!

    1. Eva May 19, 2020 at 08:24

      Thank you for your kind words, Shelley. All the best!

  2. Gloria May 18, 2020 at 19:16

    5 stars
    I have never made or even tried carpaccio. I love smoked salmon. What a great appetizer for a bbq party. I need to give this a try.

    1. Eva May 19, 2020 at 08:25

      Yes Gloria, please do give this a try. You need to try carpaccio once in your lifetime! Veal or swordfish carpaccio is also great!

  3. Jess May 19, 2020 at 07:21

    5 stars
    I have never shaved my asparagus before. How fun is that?! love everything about this!

    1. Eva May 19, 2020 at 08:26

      Thank you, Jess! You need to try!

  4. Chef Dennis May 20, 2020 at 05:08

    5 stars
    Oooh! Summer is coming and this Smoked salmon carpaccio with grapefruit and shaved asparagus is the perfect dish for our summer meal! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    1. Eva May 21, 2020 at 09:42

      You are very welcome! Thank you for your comment, Chef!

  5. Jenny Graves May 20, 2020 at 16:46

    5 stars
    Your recipe is so fresh and summery, I love smoked salmon and never tried it this way. Will be definitely making it soon.

    1. Eva May 21, 2020 at 09:42

      Thank you, Jenny! I love smoked salmon, too!

  6. Elaine May 22, 2020 at 12:53

    5 stars
    Smoke salmon is a fantastic way to enjoy salmon even if you are not a big fan of it. There is so much flavor and additional zing to it. Wonderful appetizer!

    1. Eva May 22, 2020 at 21:12

      I agree with you, I guess it takes away some of the fishy quality. Thank you!

  7. Veronika May 22, 2020 at 15:52

    5 stars
    I’m a big fan of carpaccio but never made it at home myself. I love that you added some grapefruit, it adds a beautiful freshness and acidity. I would have it for lunch right now!

    1. Eva May 22, 2020 at 21:11

      Thank you, Veronika!

  8. Kay May 23, 2020 at 09:38

    5 stars
    You have styled this so beautifully! Love what you done with asparagus stalks!! Will try it out for a starter when I next do a dinner party.

    1. Eva May 23, 2020 at 14:36

      Thank you, Kay! This is a great starter at a dinner party!

  9. Sharon May 23, 2020 at 14:36

    5 stars
    This smoke salmon is a wonderfully light dish that’s perfect for spring. The grapefruit and asparagus are the perfect complements to the smoked fish.

    1. Eva June 17, 2020 at 22:57

      Thank you, Sharon! I had forgotten to reply to your comment!

  10. Denise May 24, 2020 at 02:38

    5 stars
    I love smoked salmon, and the grapefruit and asparagus sounds like a delicious combination!

    1. Eva May 24, 2020 at 08:21

      Thank you, Denise!

  11. Cory Varga May 24, 2020 at 13:17

    5 stars
    What a great idea to mix the tangy bitter grapefruit with smoked salmon. Love it! Also your pictures are fantastic.

    1. Eva May 24, 2020 at 16:52

      Thank you, Cory!

  12. Sophie May 25, 2020 at 05:45

    5 stars
    Those grapefruits and pinenuts and asparagus surely make this dish very flavorful. Thanks a lot for this recipe

    1. Eva May 25, 2020 at 15:11

      Thank you, Sophie!


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