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Citrus-Cured Salmon with Pistachio Cream Cheese

Citrus-Cured Salmon, Pistachio Cream Cheese
Pair with the Paradise Ridge Winery’s 2012 Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Grandview Vineyard Making your own cured salmon is much easier than most people think and well worth the effort. However, feel free to substitute your favorite gravlax or cured salmon in this recipe. The richness of the salmon & cream cheese is balanced by the clean flavors of this wine. Once the ingredients are gathered, this is a very simple hors d’oeuvre to make.
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Pistachio Cream Cheese
  1. 1/2 cup cream cheese
  2. 1 Tablespoon, pistachios, toasted and chopped
  3. 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  4. Combine all ingredients & mix until smooth
Citrus-Cured Salmon
  1. 1/2 pound citrus-cured salmon, thinly sliced
  2. 1/2 cup pistachio cream cheese
  3. 20 slices thin, dark pumpernickel bread (cocktail bread)
  4. 1.5 pounds wild salmon fillet, skin off, pin-bones removed, single piece
  5. 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  6. 3 ounces (volume) kosher salt
  7. 2 Tablespoons brandy
  8. Zest of 1 lime, very fine
  9. Zest of 1/2 orange, very fine
  10. Zest of 1/2 lemon, very fine
To cure the salmon
  1. Mix all dry ingredients together with the brandy.
  2. Place a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter and put half the salt mixture in a layer about the same size as the salmon in the middle of the plastic wrap.
  3. Place the salmon skin side down on the salt mix. Top the salmon with the rest of the mix.
  4. Wrap tightly around the salmon, leaving one side slightly open for liquid to escape.
  5. Place the salmon in a baking dish and top it with a heavy pan or other flat-bottomed object that weighs at least a pound or two.
  6. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. Turn the plastic with the fish over the next morning and put the weight back on it.
  8. Do this again every 12 hours or so for a total of 24 to 48 hours depending upon how thick the fillet is.
  9. Once the salmon is cured and relatively firm, remove it from the plastic, rinse off the salt mix & pat dry.
  10. Re-wrap in clean plastic and hold until you are ready to use.
To serve
  1. Spread pistachio cream cheese mix evenly and generously over each slice of the cocktail bread, and all the way to the edge.
  2. Top each slice with slightly overlapping slices of the cured salmon. Make sure the salmon covers over the edge of the bread.
  3. Cut the crust off the cream cheese and salmon topped bread to square it off. Cut again in either halves or quarters depending upon the size of the bread.
Paradise Ridge Winery