Smoked Salmon, Beetroot and Avocado Terrine
At this time of year, with parties, serious, heavy dishes of meat and poultry and with New Year around the corner, a smoked salmon terrine seemed like a good idea to add variety to the table. It has the benefit of being both a show-stopper in its looks, is easy to make and any leftovers in the ingredients can be pressed into further service. Another advantage is that it should be made in advance of any festivities, up to a day ahead, thus alleviating exhaustion at one’s own gathering.
This dish also has the advantage of needing hardly any cooking, softening the beets in steam, being the only cooking operation. It is more architectural construction than anything else.
While the three or four beets are softening (sliced finely), take three or for avocados, cut and scoop out the flesh, adding lime juice in a bowl. Add a handful of coriander leaves and some capers, spring onion and some Feta (Sultan’s German double cream was used here). Wizz the mixture together with a stick blender to a thick paste. When the beets are ready, add some Feta and seasoning in a bowl and blend in the beetroot, again using enough Feta to give the paste integrity, without overpowering the beetroot.
Take a loaf tin and line it with cling film, allowing some to hang over the sides. Cut three thin slices of lemon and place in the bottom of the tin, covering the lemon with slices of smoked salmon and lining the sides of the tin. You will probably need 2 x 200g packets for this. I found that some of the smoked salmon slices were so thin they were a bit delicate and tore easily, so I just made sure there were no ‘holes’ in the salmon layer and made a additional layer with slices of crabmeat, which has greater structural integrity. Not such a problem in Scandinavia or the Baltic, but here in Kuwait one clearly has to rely on what is imported. Hence, I entitled this chapter ‘architecture’. Spoon in the avocado mixture and add a layer of crab slices, before spooning in the beetroot. This keeps the layers quite separate and stops the beetroot from ‘bleeding’ into the avocado mix.
Cover the base with the remaining crab slices and fold over any of the overhanging smoked salmon, making a neat package. This can be left overnight in the fridge or if made in more of a hurry, it can be popped into the freezer for a couple of hours, this will also make it easier to slice at the table or buffet.
Any remaining avocado or beetroot may be served in bowls as a dip and any remaining scraps of crab or smoked salmon can be used on canapés with lumpfish caviar or slices of cornichons, though first dibs is very much the prerogative of the chef.
A Happy New Year to all!