Photo: Jan Smith
20 servings (serving size: 2 tablespoons)

This easy, no-cook spread has been a favorite in the author's family for almost 20 years. It is terrific with any kind of cracker or crisp bread. Prepare it up to a day ahead, and refrigerate.

How to Make It

Step 1

Place half of salmon, sour cream, rind, juice, cardamom, and pepper in a food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer salmon mixture to a bowl.

Step 2

Coarsely chop remaining salmon, and fold into salmon mixture. Gently fold in 1/4 cup chives. Cover and chill. Garnish with additional chopped chives, if desired.

Step 3

How to Hot-Smoke a Salmon: Besides fresh fish at the seafood counter, keep an eye out for smoked salmon, either hot-smoked (kippered) or cold-smoked (lox). I use hot-smoked salmon in the winter for pizzas and other savory dishes. Lox is more delicate and doesn't hold up to cooking, but we serve it with breakfast toast and with appetizers in the afternoon.

Step 4

Although commercially smoked fish is readily available, you can also prepare your own on the grill with wood chips available in small bags from most markets. I prefer alder wood if it is available. Use this smoked salmon in the recipes here, or add it to pasta, pizza, or a main-course salad. -KD

The Winterlake Lodge Cookbook and The Riversong Lodge Cookbook

Ratings & Reviews

stimply's Review

January 02, 2014
Not too impressed. The cardamom flavor didn't come through. The chives overwhelmed everything else. And it's a lot of smoked salmon to buy for a dip that isn't blowing off my socks.

woofpup's Review

June 10, 2013
Great recipe and smoking it yourself definitely saves money. I left out the cardamon as my family really dislikes it but I added one half of a fresh jalapeno pepper finely chopped for a bit of kick.

mollydollyk's Review

May 09, 2013
This was too much like tuna sandwich filling for an appetizer.

Keiko123's Review

January 29, 2012
This recipe definately calls for using the right ingredients and I don't see how you could deviate from it and still get a great taste. My biggest problem was smoking the salmon and after seeing the price in the market I bought a few frozen ones from Walmart that were actually wild caught (not in China!) and tried to smoke it on a "stove top" smoker. Not a good idea. Definately smoke it on the grill yourself to save money. My salmon didn't come out as smokey, consequnetly, but with the othre ingredients it was still really good. I would make it again for sure and hope for a more smokey flavor on the grill. I also used fresh lemons from my lemon tree and fresh garden chives.

veryslowcook's Review

September 11, 2011
The wonderful flavor of smoked salmon really shines in this recipe. I actually think it would still be really tasty without quite so much salmon. Would be great for company.

KitchenMaster's Review

July 08, 2011
This recipie was very good and everyone enjoyed it at my fourth of July party. It was quick and easy to make, once you had all the ingredients and i served it with wheat and sesame seed water crackers. Some quick notes... prepared smoked salmon was very hard to find. I went to four different food stores before finally finding it at Costco for $14.99 a lb! It was smoked and baked with black peppercorn on one side, which worked out just fine. Next time, I will try smoking my own salmon.

ChelleyBones's Review

January 10, 2011
Quick and easy to prepare! Loved the flavors and when I make something with smoked salmon I really want it to shine through. It was a big hit! For something from Cooking Light it truly tasted like a guilty pleasure. Would make this again and again. Served with crackers as a snack while watching a football game. Read my full review at:

Magda1's Review

March 08, 2010
delicious - will definately make it again - Easy to prepare (special occasion or small gathering)- has lots of flavor - mixed 2 types of smoked salmon from Trader Joes - forgot to mix chives with sour cream ...added it with extra cardamon and lemon rind as decoration - served it with wheat crackers - willl make it again for sure...mmmm goooood

bigbird501's Review

July 10, 2009
Very good, will definitely use again.

miraoli's Review

July 24, 2013
I haven't made this yet, but it sounds absolutely fantastic. I am a huge salmon fan though. Http:// for all your coupon needs!