Smart Cooks Look To Smoked Salmon For Easy Meals

Irish folk hero Finn McCool, or Fionn mac Cumhaill, may have acquired his gift of wisdom from a salmon, but smart cooks know they can always rely on the rich flavor of smoked salmon for a quick, delicious end-of-summer meal. For these three dishes, buy the best Irish oak-smoked salmon you can find at a good delicatessen or shipped directly from Ireland.




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This smoked salmon roll-up, which makes an excellent starter or simple supper, can be assembled in less than

20 minutes. The earthy walnut

vinaigrette is a perfect complement, but for faster preparation, use a good bottled dressing.

Walnut Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons roasted walnut oil

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


3/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Irish whiskey (optional)

1 pound fresh crabmeat

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

8 slices smoked salmon

3 cups mixed greens

1 avocado, peeled, pitted,

and cut into 8 slices

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Brown soda bread for serving

To make the vinaigrette: Combine the oils, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste in a sealable jar, cover, and shake until blended. Set aside.

To make the roulades: In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and whiskey, if using. Stir in the crabmeat and fennel seeds. Spread the crabmeat mixture onto the slices of salmon, roll up into cylinder shapes, and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

To serve, divide the mixed greens among 4 salad plates. Place 2 roulades and 2 slices of avocado on each, and sprinkle with the walnuts. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the greens. Serve with brown soda bread. Serves 4


A bit like the roulades, these roll-ups are stuffed with frisée salad and served upright. You can use the walnut vinaigrette recipe or your favorite bottled dressing. Allow 3 slices salmon per person and adjust the amount of greens accordingly.

3 cups mixed greens with frisée

2 to 3 tablespoons dressing

Freshly ground pepper to taste

3 slices smoked salmon per person

Potato salad for serving

In a medium bowl, toss the mixed greens and frisée with about 2 tablespoons of dressing (add more to taste). Season with pepper. Put the smoked salmon slices on a work surface, divide the greens among the slices, and roll up into cylinder shapes. Serve upright with potato salad.


For a warm roulade or "paupiette," stuff delicate fillets of sole with a mix of crabmeat and smoked salmon with a hint of ginger. Serve them with a buttery chive sauce, a few boiled new potatoes, and a fresh green salad.

Stuffed Sole

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup fresh crabmeat

Pinch of fresh ginger

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

6 ounces smoked salmon

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

12 fillets of sole

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup dry white wine

Chive Sauce

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1/4 cup fish stock or bottled clam juice

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced

1/2 cup minced fresh chives

Fresh parsley sprigs for garnish

To make the sole: Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Gently stir in the crabmeat and ginger and cook for about 3 minutes, Stir in half the lemon juice and set aside to cool. In a blender or food processor, process the smoked salmon, remaining lemon juice, cayenne, and cream until smooth. Season the sole with salt and pepper. Spread each fillet with 1 tablespoon of the salmon mixture and top with a spoonful of the crabmeat mixture. Carefully roll the fillets into cylinders and brush with a little lemon juice. Place the fillets in a shallow ovenproof dish with the water and wine, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the sole is firm.

To make the sauce: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the wine, vinegar, and stock or broth for 5 to 7 minutes, or until reduced by half. Add the cream and cook 3 to 5 minutes more, or until further reduced. Whisk in the butter until it melts completely. Stir in the chives.

To serve, spoon the warm sauce onto 4 plates and arrange 3 paupiettes on each. Garnish with a sprig of parsley and serve with boiled potatoes and a mixed salad. Serves 4

Margaret M. Johnson, the author of six Irish cookbooks, is currently writing Flavors of Ireland for

Ambassador International.