Smoked Salmon and Whitefish Salad Melts

Smoked Salmon and Whitefish Salad Melts

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking using the smoked whitefish salad recipe from Barefoot Contessa
Yield: 8 melts

Ohhhh, these are just incredible: buttery, golden toast topped with a thick schmear of cream cheese, melty Gruyère, heirloom tomatoes, salmon, and fresh smoked whitefish salad. This heavenly combo was inspired by a bagel I ate in NYC. A quick note regarding the fish: it matters that you get great smoked whitefish. I was crazily impressed with the Blue Hill Bay smoked whitefish I bought (not so much with the other brand I tried — flattened, salty, and rubbery. Ew.) I also bought a super oily and lovely package of Nova smoked salmon trimmings. The fish is in the spotlight here, so it’s worth it to find great quality products. You’ll probably have some whitefish salad left over after making your melts — a treat for tomorrow’s lunch!

1 1/2 pounds smoked whitefish, skinned and boned
1/2 cup minced red onion*
1/2 cup minced celery
1 cup good mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 big slices of a sourdough bread boule
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
Gruyère cheese (enough to cover the bread when sliced thin)
smoked salmon (enough to put a few hearty pieces on each slice of bread)
1 heirloom tomato, thinly sliced
microgreens for topping
*I soaked my red onions in cold water for 10 minutes to mellow them out and then drained and dried them.

Flake the whitefish with your hands to allow you to check for any stray bones. Gently combine the whitefish with the red onion, celery, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed (I didn’t need to add all the salt called for). Set in the fridge to chill while you finish your melts.

Spread butter over both sides of each piece of sourdough bread. Toast each slice over medium heat in a large skillet for about 2 minutes (or until golden) before flipping it, smearing a thick layer of cream cheese on the warm side (doesn’t have to be perfect—don’t burn your fingers!), topping with Gruyère, and then removing it to a wire rack once the bottom is toasted. Repeat this with all the slices. If the cheese isn’t melty enough for my liking after this process, I microwave the slices for 20 seconds or so.

Top each slice of bread with a thinly sliced tomato, a few hearty pieces of smoked salmon, a scoop of smoked whitefish salad, and some microgreens. Serve immediately.

12 Comments on Smoked Salmon and Whitefish Salad Melts

  1. Samantha
    July 29, 2014 at 3:19 am (7 years ago)

    Ah… I love how everyone on social media assumes that every post was a magical perfect moment, especially those ubiquitous selfies, lol. That is why I like to post photos of nature and buildings, or moments– things that I find to be beautiful or interesting. Sometimes I put up photos of occasions that friends and family couldn’t attend but wanted to be at, but very rarely do I try to use social media to “explain” how awesome my life is. I think I’ve posted a selfie a total of one time. Basically, I figure, if we are so busy living our lives and enjoying (or photographing) the cool stuff, then why do we have to proclaim how awesome every day is? 🙂
    By the way I am so glad you got rid of the bed bugs, and got the pee smell out of your mattress. Both sound horrifying….

    • Julie Ruble
      July 29, 2014 at 9:20 am (7 years ago)

      Well, there probably never were any bedbugs in our stuff but, uh… we weren’t taking any chances. LOL. Thanks, Samantha.

  2. Lauren at Keep It Sweet
    July 29, 2014 at 6:24 am (7 years ago)

    This post makes me love you anymore. Why yes, I have definitely had those days! And the instagram vs. real life is so absolutely true (pretty sure for everyone)!

    I miss smoked salmon and whitefish like crazy, those are two things I can’t wait to eat in a few months. The fact that I can combine them is kind of genius!

    • Julie Ruble
      July 29, 2014 at 9:21 am (7 years ago)

      Aw, thanks Lauren 😀

  3. Anton
    July 29, 2014 at 9:29 am (7 years ago)

    Ever since Google Maps tried to murder me by leading me to an empty field when I asked for the post office, I’m so wary of the GPS directions!

    I might make this with bonus anchovies. I’ve put anchovies on all my sandwiches this summer.

    • Julie Ruble
      July 29, 2014 at 9:33 am (7 years ago)

      GPS, right?! UGH.

      Hope you enjoy!!

  4. Carol
    July 29, 2014 at 9:43 am (7 years ago)

    This recipe sounds (and looks) amazing. I think i know where I can find some whitefish….but I’ll call first. Thanks for the post…and the tip!

    • Julie Ruble
      July 29, 2014 at 9:50 am (7 years ago)

      Thanks Carol! Girrrrl, make sure you call. LOL.

  5. Angie
    July 29, 2014 at 1:43 pm (7 years ago)

    What a great post! I shared that video you noted. It is so true. We do tend to show our best selves in social media and for those going through a tough time, it can be depressing. I try to share bits of everything, the good, the bad, the sad, the funny.

    • Julie Ruble
      July 29, 2014 at 4:01 pm (7 years ago)

      Thanks Angie! I try to do that, too.

  6. Greg
    August 2, 2014 at 9:26 am (7 years ago)

    Salmon and whitefish are my favorite – and of my whole family! Thank you!!

    For dinner hosts, I just started a website to offer opportunities to host dinner in your home – to traveling or local guests, for fun or extra money. Please check it out and sign up if you’re interested:

    Thanks for the wonderful recipes!

  7. Anne
    August 17, 2014 at 4:30 am (7 years ago)

    I loved this post! I often feel like everyone experiences more fun things than I am when I check Facebook or Instagram. But you´re right, it´s all about perspective :). This made me smile!


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