Salmon Rillettes

Made with both smoked and cooked fish for textural contrast, salmon rillettes became a New Year’s staple once I discovered that my husband wasn’t the only non—oyster eater among us. Pack into jars the night before entertaining—the flavors improve with time.

Every December 31st, the dessert wizard invites a hodgepodge group of old and new friends for a perfect French fête, complete with oysters, gougères, and huge bottles of champagne by the Seine

Featured in: How Dorie Greenspan Does New Year’s Eve in Paris
Salmon Rillettes Salmon Rillettes
A crostini topped with smoked and cooked salmon rilettes
Yield: serves 6
Time: 1 hour


  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts minced (1/4 cup), dark green parts reserved
  • 1 lemon
  • 12 cup dry white wine
  • Salt
  • 8 oz. salmon fillet (preferably wild Alaskan), skin and bones removed
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 small shallot, minced, rinsed, and dried Freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 lb. smoked salmon, cut into thin strips or small squares
  • 14 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. capers, rinsed, patted dry, and finely chopped
  • 12 tsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. minced dill
  • 1 tbsp. minced cilantro
  • Crackers or sliced baguette, for serving


  1. Toss the dark scallion parts into a medium saucepan with a thin slice of lemon. Add the wine, 12 cup water, and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Add the salmon fillet; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat; set aside (covered) for 10 minutes. Transfer the salmon to a plate and refrigerate for 20 minutes or up to 1 day (cover if refrigerating overnight). Discard the cooking liquid.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the butter with a flexible spatula until spreadable. Add the grated zest of the lemon, the juice from half the lemon, the minced scallions, shallot, a pinch of salt, and 2 pinches black pepper; stir thoroughly. Stir in the smoked salmon.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, capers, honey, 1 12 teaspoons lemon juice, and a pinch of black pepper; add to the smoked salmon mixture. Stir well to combine.
  4. Remove the cooked salmon from the fridge and cut into bite-size pieces. Gently stir into the smoked salmon mixture, keeping the pieces as chunky as possible. Taste and adjust the salt, pepper, and lemon juice if needed. Fold in the chopped dill and cilantro.
  5. Transfer the rillettes to a serving bowl or jar. Serve immediately, or preferably cover and refrigerate 6 hours or up to 3 days. Serve with sliced baguette or crackers.