Daily Archives: 6 June 2014

salmon rillettes {ffwd}

Salmon Rillettes

Over the past year or so, I’ve grown to love rillettes as a pre-dinner appetizer or part of a picnic lunch. What are rillettes? It’s the French word for a pâté-like paste traditionally made from pork. I tried my hand at pork rillettes over the winter. In Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table, she offers three different versions of rillettes made with fish. Previously, we’ve made rillettes with sardines and tuna. This week, salmon was on deck.

Poached Salmon

Salmon rillettes is the most colorful of the trio. It’s yet another recipe I’d describe with the word “confetti”. The pale coral of fresh salmon provides the base for flecks of deep coral from smoked salmon, red from a chile pepper, light purple from shallot, a sprinkling of yellow from lemon zest, and a flash of fuchsia from pink peppercorns. The preparation was simple. Small chunks of salmon are barely poached in diluted wine with some lemon peel, a sliver of the chile pepper, and some coriander seed and white peppercorns thrown in the pot. The salmon is then mashed with the other ingredients along with softened butter and lemon juice before packing it into a ramekin to firm up for spreading.

Confetti of Color

Confetti of Color

This spread is quite versatile. I enjoyed salmon rillettes spread on crackers for a light lunch. Tonight, we’ll enjoy it again as an appetizer. If there’s anything leftover, it will be part of the picnic lunch I’ve planned for tomorrow.


I did find that the smoked salmon overpowered the poached salmon both in flavor and texture. Next time I make this, I would adjust the proportions by doubling the fresh salmon and halving the smoked so the fresh fish could shine.

Mise en Place

Mise en Place

To see what the other Doristas thought of salmon rillettes, you can check out their links here. The recipe is, of course, in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table, or you can find it on-line here.