Salmon Loaf with Mustard and Capers | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Salmon Loaf with Mustard and Capers

Salmon Loaf with Mustard and Capers

Serves 8

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From the start of our meatloaf adventure, two of the elements that we knew we wanted in our book were these: a loaf that showcased salmon and a loaf devised by Melissa Clark, whose good kitchen sense and peerless kitchen skills are on weekly display in the New York Times and in her cookbook classics Cook This Now and In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite. This recipe is the confluence of those elements.

It’s essentially a fish terrine, and it’s a terrific digression from heartier, more gut-busting meatloaves. A word about its construction and cooking: You will pause and wonder about the volume of water in play. You will doubt. Don’t, because the moisture is essential to proper results and because, as the recipe specifies, any excess liquid can easily be blotted up at the end. Blot with abandon. You’re not rescuing a disaster. You’re completing the intended paces and making sure this loaf turns out to be as supple as it should.

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11⁄2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for skillet, plus 11⁄2 teaspoons for the loaf pan

1 onion, finely chopped

3⁄4 pound boneless, skinless wild salmon fillet, cut into chunks

3⁄4 pound boneless, skinless halibut, hake or other mild white fish fillet, cut into chunks

3 large eggs

1⁄2 cup panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1⁄2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

1 large carrot, peeled and grated

1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon

1 tablespoon chopped capers

Boiling water for the water bath


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan with the 11⁄2 teaspoons olive oil. 

2. In a 10-inch skillet, heat the remaining 1 1⁄2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Cook the onions, stirring, until soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside. 

3. In a food processor, pulse the salmon and halibut until chopped but not pureed—you want texture here. 

4. In a stand mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until frothy, about 2 minutes. Beat in 3⁄4 cup cold water and the onions, fish, panko, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper until well combined, about
 2 minutes. Then beat in the carrots, tarragon and capers. 

5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and transfer it to a large roasting 
pan. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the loaf pan. Bake until the terrine is firm in the center, 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove the loaf pan from the water bath, and let it cool for 10 minutes.

6. Blot any excess liquid from the top of the loaf with a paper towel. Run a butter knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the loaf. Invert a plate over the loaf pan, and holding the two together, flip the pan over. Tap the top and sides gently several times to help release the loaf onto the plate. Let it cool completely. 

7. Soak up any more released juices with a paper towel. Slice and serve.

Reprinted with permission from A Meatloaf in Every Oven. 2017 by Frank Bruni and Jennifer Steinhauer, Grand Central Life and Style.

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