A RECIPE: Smoked salmon & cream cheese spirals

What I adore about smoked salmon is that you can buy it and eat it the whole year round. There’s no need to fret about its availability or that it’s not the right time of year to serve it because it’s always the right time to eat it; hot summers day, Christmas Eve or other wise- it just works. Which is more than can be said for the average tomato. It’s reliable- easy to buy, easy to freeze and easy to serve and nothing gives me more pleasure in life than the use of the words reliability and easy. And as if these two delightful words weren’t reasons enough for you to rush out and buy some- there really are more ways to serve it than on buttered brown bread with lemon wedges (no offense, mum).

The recipe below is of course just one way (which still involves a bread-substitute and lemon) but there are multitudes of variations you can play around with. Try using mascarpone, change the herbs up, swap the tortillas for nori rolls or bake them as spring rolls (mmm- now there’s an idea I might have to try!). Perhaps the best part of this variation on the traditional is that they look far more beautiful than scraps of smoked pink fish on brown bread (again, no offense, mum).

I have given quantities for the recipe below- but it’s likely that you will want to make more or less so the best rule of thumb is that for every tortilla wrap (which makes roughly 5 spirals) you will need 50g/2 oz of salmon and 50g/2 oz cream cheese and in terms of amount of herbs, lemon and seasoning to add to the cheese- i’m leaving that part up to your taste buds.

Smoked salmon and cream cheese spirals

These really are very simple to make but rest assured, they look and taste like you’ve spent hours making them. There’s no need to wait for a party to make these, they make the perfect lunch. Make them up the day before and slice once ready to serve.

Makes: as many as you like but this recipe makes 20 plus scraps for the chef and hungry bystanders

Difficulty: Even Don could make these. No, seriously.

4 x 20cm/8 inch tortillas

225g/8oz cream cheese at room temperature

2 tbsp of one of the following chopped herbs: dill, tarragon or chives

1 lemon, finely grated zest

Squeeze of lemon juice, optional

225g/8oz smoked salmon slices

1/ Beat your cream cheese in a bowl until very smooth and soft. Stir through the herbs, lemon zest and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add a squeeze of lemon juice if you fancy it. If you don’t, then fine be that way.

2/ Lay out tortillas. Cover 2/3 of the tortilla with smoked salmon slices. Spread with 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture on top of the salmon, leaving about an 2.5 cm/ 1inch of tortilla unblemished (the cheese will ooze forward to cover it soon enough.)

3/ Starting from the salmon end, use both hands to gently but quite tightly roll up the tortilla. If the seam end of the roll doesn’t stick then use a little extra cheese for glue. Wrap the rolls in clingfilm and chill for 1 hour or until ready to serve

4/ Cut off the ends of each tortilla and eat (tasting is essential). Slice on the diagonal (each spiral should make 5 presentable spirals and 2 scrappy ends). Serve garnished with extra herbs or lemon zest. Sit back and admire your handy-work.

Other great party treats to try
Cheese & walnut gougeres
Cheese cigars
Squash chorizo & feta tartlets

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8 Responses to “A RECIPE: Smoked salmon & cream cheese spirals”


  1. 1 Chou April 14, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    I love the presentation. Isn’t it wonderful that cream cheese (or butter) provide such great vehicles for flavor?

  2. 2 LB April 15, 2008 at 9:23 am

    I like your photos here – as always, it both sounds and looks absolutely delicious!

  3. 3 KW April 23, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Made these for the “in-laws” on Sunday and not a morsel was left on the plate – huge success. Thanks!

  4. 4 Anna Helm April 23, 2008 at 10:48 am

    you’re very welcome I’m so pleased that that were successful!

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