Salmon terrine

Some recipes are so simple to make and yet so delicious that it seems like you are giving away a true secret every time you are asked for the recipe. A little bit of you wants to hold on, to leave the illusion that the culinary triumph is a result of your hard work and not admit to the simplicity. I have definitely felt that with this recipe; in a short space of time a small pile of ingredients is transformed into the most wonderful dish. A dish so wonderful that it really does deserve to be shared.

From start to finish it takes under 30 mins to prepare but is closer to 15 if you have someone reading the recipe to you and washing up – you pulse cream cheese, with smoked salmon and cooked salmon in a food processor until combined but still lumpy, pop it into a bowl with more salmon, spring onions and dill, stir, season and spoon into moulds lined with cling film. Easy!

If you don’t have a food processor don’t be put off you will just have to do a little more chopping- take half of the smoked salmon and half of the cooked salmon and chop it until it resembles mince before stirring it in with the rest of the ingredients.

When I am making this for dinner parties I tend to make this a night or two in advance so there’s no last minute cooking- or washing up! Although leftovers are rare if you are lucky enough they can be eaten for brunch or served on little toasts as a canapé.

I made this terrine for my brother’s birthday dinner last weekend and saved a small amount to take photos here- the recipe makes a much larger amount which is enough to fill a 1lb loaf tin and serve 12 generously as a starter. Again don’t worry if you don’t have a loaf tin as this can be made in whatever you have- cereal bowls would work well (probably two for this amount) as would any other cake tin or Tupperware. Just line with clingfilm as I mention below. If you are concerned by volume the amount here will fill the approximately the same space as 1l of water.

I suggest serving it with bagels, brushed with a little oil, scattered with dill and salt crystals and toasted under the grill- the salty sweetness is amazing. I found the mini bagels in the photos at a large Sainsbury’s but normally I settle for the regular ones which I slice into three or four rounds and halve into semi circles.

I hope you enjoy 🙂


Serves 12 people (normally with leftovers)
Adapted from BBC Good Food

Small pack of dill – the prettiest fonds pick off, the rest pulled off stalks and finely chopped (but only when ready to use – you’ll need 1/3 for the terrine and 2/3 for the bagels)
360g smoked salmon (I use trimmings as they are cheaper, otherwise chop up normal)
3 salmon fillets – cooked and cooled or pre-cooked – then flaked*
600g light cream cheese
6 spring onions – very finely sliced
8 bagels (or 16 mini bagels)
Olive oil for brushing bagels
Salt flakes for dusting bagels

  • If you are cooking your salmon – bake it in an oven at 180C for 20mins and allow to fully cool before using (make sure you remove the skin after cooking and don’t add it!)
  • Grease a 1lb loaf tin** with a little oil and line with cling film (the grease will help the clingfilm stick to the edge). Pick off the best dill fonds and place these at the bottom, followed by some attractive bits of salmon. Use enough to almost cover the bottom.
  • Put half of the remaining smoked salmon, the half of the flaked fillets and all of the cream cheese into a food processor and blitz – you want some lumps to remain.
  • Fold in the rest of the smoked and normal salmon, a third of the finely chopped dill and the spring onions and season well – you want to add lots of salt and pepper
  • Spoon the mixture into your mould and pop in the fridge to firm up for at least 4 hours or overnight.

For the bagels

  • If using full size bagels slice them into three circles, four if they are already halved. If you have found mini ones slice into three circles
  • Place the bagels on a baking tray (you’ll have to do batches), drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle over some of the remaining dill and some chunky salt and toast until, well, toasted
  • Flip over and toast on the other side (no need to add more oil, dill or salt)
  • Allow to cool

*If you want to go all out using hot smoked salmon is incredible!
**If you don’t have a 1lb loaf tin a 2lb one will do as would a couple of cereal bowls

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