Honey Mustard Salmon Rillettes

"Classic salmon rillettes, a spread made of both smoked and fresh salmon, is bound with butter, flavored with lemon and only lightly seasoned. This version is zestier than tradition would have it, and the two variations that follow are more exotic, but they’re all perfect as an aperitif nibble (they’re made for white wine and sparklers), a brunch dish or picnic fare. I often double the recipe, keep one batch and spoon the other into a pretty canning jar to bring as a hostess gift. This dish doesn’t need to be made with the most expensive salmon, smoked or fresh. If you can buy smoked salmon bits, get them. They’re sometimes cut from the end of the salmon fillet and so they’re a little saltier — taste before you add any more salt to the rillettes. As for the fresh salmon, I’ve had good results using frozen wild Alaskan salmon fillets. If they have skin on them, I put them — still frozen — skin side down in a pot of simmering water for 1 minute and that’s enough to loosen the skin so that it’s easy to remove. Also, it’s okay to poach the salmon when it’s still slightly frozen — just cook for 3 minutes."
-- @doriegreenspan

A Note from Feedfeed

*The rillettes are best when made at least 6 hours ahead, packed into an airtight container, and refrigerated.*

 Excerpted from Everyday Dorie © 2018 by Dorie Greenspan. Photography © 2018 by Ellen Silverman. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Purchase your copy here


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  • Recipe Card

Storing: The rillettes will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

MISO-SALMON RILLETTES: Use the same amounts of fresh and smoked salmon and cook the fresh or frozen salmon as above. Beat 3 ta- blespoons softened butter until spreadable. Mix in 3 tablespoons white miso, grate over the zest of 1 lemon, squeeze in the juice from half of it and add 1 minced small shallot. Season with a pinch of salt and a little pepper. Blend thoroughly, then stir in both salmons, 3 tablespoons minced mixed herbs (or use cilantro) and a splash of Sriracha. Taste for salt, pepper and Sriracha.

FRENCH-ASIAN SALMON RILLETTES: Use the same amounts of fresh and smoked salmon and cook the salmon as above, adding 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar and a pinch of togarashi (see page 000) or cayenne to the poaching liquid. Mix the butter, lemon zest and juice, shallot and minced scallions together as above, and stir in the smoked salmon. In another bowl, mix together 1⁄4 cup mayonnaise, 1 to 2 teaspoons go- chujang (see page 000), the juice from the remaining lemon half and 1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar. Add to the smoked salmon and blend well. Add the sliced poached salmon and the cilantro, then taste for salt, togarashi and gochujang.

Prep time 35mins
Cook time 10mins
Serves or Makes: 6

Recipe Card


  • 2 scallions, trimmed, white and green parts minced
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) white wine, or white vermouth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • fine sea salt
  • 6-8 ounces (170-227 grams) salmon fillet, fresh or frozen skin and any pin bones removed (see headnote)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon), rinsed and patted dry
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 pound (113 grams) smoked salmon, cut into thin strips or small squares
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard, (preferably french)
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, patted dry and finely chopped if large
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced cilantro
  • Crackers, toast or dark bread, for serving
  • Fresh herbs, minced or thinly sliced for serving (optional)


  • Step 1

    Toss the dark green scallion parts into a medium saucepan, add the wine, water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Drop in the salmon and lower the heat so that the liquid just simmers for a minute (3 minutes if the salmon is frozen), then remove the pan from the heat, cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Drain the salmon (discard the cooking liquid) and transfer to a plate; refrigerate for 20 minutes. (You can refrigerate the salmon for up to 1 day; cover it once it has cooled.)

  • Step 3

    Using a flexible spatula and working in a medium bowl, beat the butter until it’s spreadable. Grate the lemon zest over the butter, squeeze the juice from half of the lemon into the bowl and add the reserved minced scallions, the shallot, a pinch of salt and a few grinds
of pepper. Blend thoroughly, then stir in the smoked salmon.
In another bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, honey and capers. Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice into the bowl and stir in some pepper. Scrape this out over the smoked salmon mixture and blend well. Remove the poached salmon from the fridge, cut it into bite-size pieces and gently stir them into the smoked salmon mixture — even if you’re extremely gentle, the salmon will flake and flatten; go with it. Fold in the dill and cilantro, then taste for salt, pepper and lemon juice.

  • Step 4

    You can serve the rillettes now, but the flavor and texture are better if you pack them into a sealed container and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Serve with bread or crackers and, if you’d like, put out minced herbs that can be sprinkled over each serving.