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from "Artisanal Cooking" by Terrance Brennan and Andrew Friedman

This is one of my better-known signature dishes, one that we've been serving at Picholine since the restaurant opened in 1993. The salmon's flavor is compounded with a breading made with gravlax (cured salmon), and the crème fraîche and cucumbers cut the heat of the horseradish. Try to make this dish from late summer through fall when wild Alaskan salmon is in season.

Serves 4

 Artisanal Cooking

For the Horseradish Crust
2 packed cups small bread cubes, crusts removed
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp freshly grated horseradish
1/4 cup minced gravlax (from 2 ounces salmon)
2 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
Kosher salt

For the Salmon
4 Wild King Salmon fillets, 6 to 7 ounces each, center cut, skin removed
2 Tablespoons canola oil

For the Garnish
1 English cucumber, 1 1/2 pounds
1/4 cup crème fraîche
1/4 cup salmon roe

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For the Horseradish Crust and Cucumbers
Place bread cubes in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse to fine crumbs. Add mustard, grated horseradish, smoked salmon, butter and 1 tablespoon salt, and pulse until mixture is well blended. Put the mixture between two pieces of wax paper and roll with a rolling pin to a thickness of 1/4 inch. (If mixture is too soft to roll, chill it briefly in the refrigerator to firm it up.) Divide flattened mixture into 4 rectangles, 1 3/4 inches wide and 4 inches long.
Refrigerate the crust for at least 30 minutes (up to 3 days), or freeze for up to 3 months. Let it come to room temperature before proceeding.
Peel and seed the cucumber. Slice the cucumber into 1/8-inch slices. Put the slices in a colander and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside for 2 hours at room temperature to let the water drain from the cucumbers. Remove the cucumbers from the colander and gently squeeze them to release any excess water. The cucumbers can be covered and refrigerated overnight.
To Cook the Salmon
Preheat broiler.
Heat an 8-inch sauté pan over medium heat. Add the cucumbers and crème fraîche and toss to coat. Coook until just warmed through, approximately 2 minutes.
Season salmon on both sides with salt.
Heat a 9-inch, ovenproof sauté pan over high heat. Add oil and heat it. Add the salmon fillets to the pan and cook until very rare, 1 minute on each side. Remove the pan from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove the wax paper from the crust and use a spatula to set a horseradish rectangle on each piece of salmon. Broil on the highest rack in the oven until golden-brown, approximately 3 minutes.
To serve, arrange some of the cucumbers in the center of each of 4 dinner plates. Top with 1 salmon fillet and spoon some roe around the edges of the cucumbers.

Buy The Ingredients Wild King Ivory Salmon
Product nutrition and information
 Quantity Ingredients Est.Price
  FreshDirect Frozen Wheat Baguette - $2.49/ea
  Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Fillet, Fresh - $17.99/lb
 6 - 8 oz, Standard Cut
This product is currently unavailable.
St. James Smokehouse Scotch Reserve Smoked Scottish Salmon, Sliced to Order - $36.99/lb
  Greenhouse Cucumber - $2.49/ea
 approx. 12oz
  Vermont Creamery Crème Fraîche - $4.99/ea
  Caviar Russe Salmon Roe - $21.99/ea
You May Already Have
  Maille Dijon Mustard - $6.99/ea
  Breakstone's All-Natural Unsalted Butter - $3.99/ea
 2ct, 4oz ea
  Wesson Canola Oil - $5.19/ea
 48fl oz
Estimated Total:  
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