Skate, Smoked Salmon and Courgette Terrine


  • 4 sheets or teaspoons gelatine
  • 600 mls (1 pint) each good dry white wine and water
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • slice of fresh ginger – optional
  • piece of orange zest
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig each of tarragon and thyme
  • handful of parsley stalks
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 kg (2 lb) skate, carefully sliced from the bone (retain the bones)
  • 250 g (½ lb) smoked salmon trimmings
  • 200 g (7 oz) ‘light’ créam cheese or creme fraiche
  • 4 courgettes, sliced lengthways and blanched


Soak the gelatine by just covering it with cold water, taken from the measured amount. Simmer the aromatics and skate bones in the remaining liquid in a saucepan for 30 minutes. Strain into a wide, shallow pan, such as a sauteuse, or frying pan.

Carefully lower the fish into the simmering court bouillon and poach for about 5 minutes. Remove the fish carefully, and drain it on a clean towel or kitchen paper.

Strain the cooking liquid and measure out just over 450 mls (16 oz) into a jug. Stir in the softened gelatine until it has dissolved. Season the liquid to taste, bearing in mind that as it cools, the flavour will weaken. (Remaining stock can be used for soup.)

Put to one side any large strips of smoked salmon, as these can form a layer in the terrine. Blend the rest with the cream cheese and 150 mls ( pint) of the gelatine liquid.

Layer the fish, smoked salmon cream and slices of courgette in a terrine lined with clingfilm. Pour on as much of the remaining gelatine liquid as the terrine will hold. Cover carefully and refrigerate until set. To serve, turn out, slice and accompany with a few salad leaves and a well-flavoured vinaigrette, dill mayonnaise or spicy tomato and loose horseradish sauce.