Smoked Salmon Rilletes

Don’t let the french name scare you – I promise, it’s simple as anything.  I first stumbled upon Salmon Rilletes around 4 years ago, when I first took over my family Christmas dinner from my mum.  Salmon always seems to be a popular choice this time of year, and I wanted a way to prep it ahead knowing that it’d be no hassle on the day and go nice and far on the table.  This was that way.

Now in my research as to what officially constitutes a Salmon Rilletes I’ve found the answers inconclusive.  Some use sour cream, some use mayonnaise, some use a mixture of every curdled dairy product known to man and some – like me – use cream cheese.  I enjoy the subtlety of the cream cheese flavour allowing the salmon to shine, and the slight thicker nature of it.  It has a wonderfully fresh and tangy flavour profile that brings a sense of lightness to an otherwise rich idea. In any case, this dish takes all of 10 minutes to prepare and can be made a day or two before to ease the pressures of a starter.


  • Pack of Cream Cheese
  • Smoked Salmon – roughly 1/3 weight of the cream cheese.
  • Lemon
  • Dill – dried or fresh
  • Black Pepper


  • Slice the salmon into small squares (reserve a few for garnish) and put into a food processor along with the cream cheese, zest and juice of half a lemon (but do add more to taste if you like.)  A spoonful or two of dill – remember, dried has more flavour in relation to volume – and black pepper to taste.
  • Pulse gently at first to encourage the mixing process, then blend in ten second intervals, scraping down the sides as you go.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as you see fit, then transfer to serving dish/pretentious jar.

To serve, spread on crackers or toasted bread.

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