Leo Gong; Dan Becker Photo by: Leo Gong; Dan Becker

Salmon Rillettes

Rillettes are coarse, pâté-like French spreads typically made from duck, pork, or rabbit. Our salmon version is a lighter take on the traditional dish. It's good with toasted baguette slices or sturdy crackers, and a nice cold flute of dry sparkling rosé wouldn't be a bad idea either. Prep and Cook Time: about 10 minutes.

Sunset JANUARY 2008

  • Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 cups; 8 servings


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely minced onion
  • 1/2 pound hot-smoked salmon, skinned and broken into chunks
  • 3 ounces cold-smoked salmon, torn into pieces
  • 2/3 cup crème fraîche
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1. Melt butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly.

2. Scrape onion into a food processor and add hot- and cold-smoked salmon. Pulse mixture until fish is coarsely chopped. (Do not overblend, or mixture will become pasty.)

3. Scrape into a medium bowl and gently stir in crème fraîche, chives, and lemon juice. Season to taste with pepper.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per 3-Tbsp. serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 157
  • Calories from fat: 69%
  • Protein: 15g
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated fat: 6.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 3.3g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 502mg
  • Cholesterol: 38mg

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Salmon Rillettes Recipe