Salmon Rillettes with Pickled Cucumber Salad

This is a great starter that can be made up to two days in advance. It looks really stunning served in individual kilner jars set on a wooden board with the pickled cucumber salad in a separate little dish alongside.

Serves:  4 - 6
  • 10 tbsp (5oz) Kerrygold Salted Butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cups (11oz) skinless salmon fillet, cut into chunks
  • finely grated rind and juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 cup (5oz) smoked salmon, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp small capers, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • For the pickled cucumber salad:
  • 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 baby cucumber
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a pan and sauté the shallots until softened but not coloured. Add the salmon and lemon rind and cook for 3 minutes, or until the salmon is just cooked, turning the pieces in the butter.

Remove the salmon and shallot mixture from the heat and roughly mash with a fork to break up the salmon, then fold in the smoked salmon, capers and dill. Season to taste. Spoon into individual kilner jars or ramekins and level the tops. Cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 1 hour.

To make the pickled cucumber salad, place the rice wine vinegar in a bowl and stir in the sugar and a good pinch of salt. Cut the cucumber in half and using a teaspoon remove the seeds, then thinly slice – a mandoline will do this job brilliantly. Set aside for at least 45 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.

Remove the salmon rillettes from the fridge 15 minutes before serving, then arrange on small wooden platters with separate small dishes of the pickled cucumber salad and a neat stack of the rye bread fingers.