Salmon Rillettes

Everybody knows pork rillettes, which are found in all charcuteries. This recipe comes from Tessa Hayward’s excellent book The Salmon Cookbook. It is actually a salmon pâté, but it has the same feel and texture as rillettes. I like it enormously.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small clove of garlic, cut into 3 or 4 pieces
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme, plus a little extra for garnish
  • 6 oz salmon, boned, skinned, and cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 oz smoked salmon, cut into matchstick pieces
  • 2 tbsp thick plain yogurt
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


Pour the oil into a frying pan, and add the garlic and thyme. Heat very gently and just sizzle for about 10 minutes. Do not let the garlic color, or it will leave a bitter taste.

Remove the garlic and thyme from the pan, and add the fresh salmon to the oil. Stir for a minute or two until it is just cooked. Pour the contents of the frying pan into a food processor.

Melt the butter in the pan and add the smoked salmon. The moment it starts to change color, take the pan from the heat.

Add the yogurt to the food processor. Process very briefly, just to mix everything. Add the smoked salmon, lemon juice, plenty of pepper, and a pinch of salt. Process briefly again, remembering that you want a coarse result at the end. Adjust the seasoning.

Turn into a bowl, which you can line with a piece of foil if you wish to unmold the rillettes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish with a little more thyme before serving.