Granny’s Salmon Spread

I have memories of my grandmother making this dip around the holidays, from a recipe which she copied down from a magazine in a doctor’s waiting room in the 1950s. In those days, smoked salmon was not as readily available as it is now, and the recipe called for canned salmon and liquid smoke to get the flavor. I’ve updated the recipe and now use hard smoked salmon instead and add lemon juice for brightness. I love the throwback of forming the spread into a ball and rolling it in the pecans and parsley. If you prefer to skip that step, simply place it in a serving bowl and sprinkle with the nuts and herbs.

Granny’s Salmon Spread

Prep Time 10 minutes
I have memories of my grandmother making this dip around the holidays, from a recipe which she copied down from a magazine in a doctor's waiting room in the 1950s. In those days, smoked salmon was not as readily available as it is now, and the recipe called for canned salmon and liquid smoke to get the flavor. I've updated the recipe and now use hard smoked salmon instead and add lemon juice for brightness. I love the throwback of forming the spread into a ball and rolling it in the pecans and parsley. If you prefer to skip that step, simply place it in a serving bowl and sprinkle with the nuts and herbs.
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Ingredients
 

  • 6 ounces hard smoked salmon, see notes below
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated sweet onion
  • 1-2 teaspoons jarred or freshly grated horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • crackers and cut vegetables for serving

Instructions
 

  • Break the salmon into pieces or chop with a knife. Combine all the ingredients except the parsley and nuts in a bowl and mix well. You could use hand held beaters to make it easier to blend if you like.
  • Place the nuts and parsley in a bowl. Form the cream cheese mixture into a ball and roll in the nuts and parsley. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Notes

  • If you’d like to use canned salmon and liquid smoke, the proportions are ¼ teaspoon smoke to 12 ounces of canned salmon. You will need to increase the cream cheese to 5 ounces, but all other proportions stay the same.
  • Otherwise look for a hard smoked salmon, either canned or packaged and refrigerated in the seafood department (don’t use Lox or the sliced soft smoked salmon, which won’t work in this recipe).
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