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I posted this dish six years ago. A perfect tapas delight, this dish combines the texture of salmon and the creaminess of a bright dill sauce.

Tapas dishes can be simple yet delicious. Or they can be a bit complex and totally delicious. This is the latter. It’s a fabulous dish that will awe anyone who eats it. The prep time here includes peeling tomatoes, a necessary step to make sure that the texture of all the components is delightfully consistent.

This is an example of a dish that in France would be called a verrine: a “vertical” terrine. It’s layered with each layer independently contributing visually as well as to the palette.

I was very proud of this dish, just to look at it. Taste wise? It’s wonderful. On my personal scale of 1 to 10, this rates an 8 or 9. How to get to a 10? I think you can add flavor here. Some smoked peppers with the tomatoes or as a separate layer. Perhaps some onion. This dish, wonderful by itself, simply begs for you to tinker and enjoy.

The dill sauce here is almost a mayonnaise. It just lacks lemon juice or vinegar. If you prefer, a splash of sherry vinegar at the end makes it brighter and, I think, a better match for the smoked salmon. As for that salmon, I posted a few days ago the idea of smoking your own at home using a Cameron stovetop smoker. This recipe is the perfect example of how that handy device can make your home cooking 3 star class.

To accompany this, Brian and I had some sparkling Cava with a splash of pomegranate liquor. Elegantly sophisticated and very gratifying. If you make this dish, you’re going to want something to wash down your pride.

This recipe comes from The Book of Tapas by Simone and Ines Ortega. Published last year, Book of Tapas is a treasure trove of delights like this one. You’ve had salmon with dill before, but never quite like this. I heartily recommend the book as source to inspire and please you.

Little Glasses of Salmon with Dill Sauce

Yield: Serves 6-8

Ingredients for the Dill Sauce:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon sweet mustard
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • Salt

Ingredients for the Tomato and Salmon Layers:

  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 pound smoked salmon in one piece
  • Freshly ground pink pepper
  • 2 ounces salmon roe, drained
  • 1 sprig dill for garnish


Preparation of the Dill Sauce:

Whisk the egg yolk in a bowl. Add the sugar, dill and mustard and continue whisking. Gradually whisk in the oil, little by little. Season to taste with salt and place in the refrigerator.

Preparation of the Layers and Construction:

Whisk the walnut oil and balsamic vinegar together in another bowl. Add the pink pepper and salt to taste and continue whisking until all the ingredients are amalgamated. Add the tomatoes and gently toss until they are well coated with the dressing. Divide the tomatoes between 6-8 glasses.

Cut the salmon into small cubes. Add a layer of salmon cubes to each glass and spoon the sauce over each glass. Top with a little salmon roes. Chill until required, then garnish with dill and serve.

Tasting Notes:

As a variation, puree the salmon in a blender. Mix it with a little light cream, then make the salmon layer with this puree.

Source: Adapted from The Book of Tapas by Simone and Ines Ortega