Whitefish, celery, dill, lemon on rye crisps

This is an ideal early spring snack. With flowery herbal tea? Dry unfiltered white wine? 

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  • whitefish paté (bonus recipe below to make your own)
  • rye crisps
  • baby mustard greens and/or chicories
  • celery
  • fresh dill
  • a good lemon

Spread the whitefish paté onto the rye crisp. Wash and dress the greens with lemon juice and the smallest amount of oil. Thinly slice the celery, dress the same way. Tear the dill. Cut the flesh of the lemon out of all peel/remaining membrane. Set the greens on the whitefish, tuck the celery in and around the greens. Lay the dill fronds over that, and weigh them down with the lemon flesh. Top with flaky salt and cracked pepper. 

Smoked fish spread

  • smoked white fish (1/4-1/2 pound piece)
  • smoked trout, ruby if possible (1 fillet)
  • farmstead cream cheese (approximately 8oz)
  • sour cream (a large spoonful or three)
  • fish salt: flaky salt with dill, etc
  • black pepper

Get a large piece of smoked whitefish and two smaller fillets of smoked trout. At my fishmonger, the whitefish is sold whole, chopped into pieces, not deboned. If this is the case with yours, debone the fish. 

I pull off the skin as gently as possible to turn into smoked fish skin bacon, a concept discussed and used in The Myrtlewood Cookbook and revisited in many ways every time I buy smoked fish with skin. 

Set up a bowl so the pieces of smoked fish fall into it as you work. 

The trout fillet will come off in one piece. Break it up into many more, with your hands or a fork. 

Using a fork, tear apart the pieces of fish as much as you can, so the two colors mix evenly. 

Add a generous amount of the cream cheese. If you can find a farmstead cream cheese, it will likely be less sticky/smooth, since it doesn’t have any of those gums or whatever to bind it! This works extra well here, because the bits of cream cheese will break up and grab onto bits of fish very easily. 

It will be a little too thick, and that’s when you add a blob of sour cream. Crack in a bunch of black pepper, then sprinkle in the fish salt. Mix, taste, season again. You can add chives, dill, parsley, or other favorite herbs here– but if you're making a quantity to go through slowly it will keep less well with greens worked in. So you might as well save them for topping. Chill the spread for at least an hour, to let the flavors mingle. Spread on toast or crackers.