I really love salmon and if it weren’t for its hefty price tag I’d happily serve it as a main at all my dinner parties. However, since my wallet doesn’t quite match these lofty entertaining goals, I’ve settled for offering salmon as an appetizer instead. This way I still get to serve my guests something a little luxurious but without going having to go broke in the process ;) Most times, I just add slices of smoked salmon to a mixed platter but when I’m feeling a little more festive I make these delicious salmon rillettes.
If you haven’t heard of the term ‘rillettes’ before, it’s pretty much the French equivalent of a spread. French rillettes are traditionally made with pork but they also work really well with salmon or even tuna. Salmon rillettes are also much easier and faster to make than their meaty counterparts which is another reason why they’re my favorite!
They take less than twenty minutes to prepare and you can even make them a day ahead which makes them ideal for gatherings. Not that you need to invite people over to make these; in fact after shooting this post I dived straight into this pot of creamy salmon rillettes and was pretty damn happy to not have to share them! I ate mine with toasted bread but you could serve yours with crackers if you’d prefer or on top of sliced cuccumber for a lighter alternative.
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
2 cups vegetable stock
220g salmon fillet (boneless and skinless)
100g smoked salmon, finely chopped
50g butter, softened
1 tbs fresh dill (or chives), finely chopped
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs creme fraiche (or sour cream)
salt and pepper, to taste
NB. You can also replace the softened butter with cream cheese and add in a few capers if you’d like!
1. Place the salmon fillet in a small saucepan and pour in the vegetable stock. Gently poach the salmon over low heat for about 6-8 minutes (it should still be a little ‘pink’ inside). Remove from the heat and put the salmon fillet on a plate. Gently flake the salmon with two forks and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
2. In a medium sized bowl, combine the smoked salmon with the butter, dill, lemon zest and juice. Add the cooked salmon, followed by the creme fraiche and combine well (the mixture should have a thick and slightly creamy consistency). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Scoop the salmon rillettes into a pot, jar or a small bowl. Seal and leave to rest in the fridge for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.
4. Serve with slices of toasted baguette.