How to make salmon roulade

Doing a 70s dinner party? Then, look no further than a salmon roulade  – a classic 1970s dinner party starter. Cookery assistant Ella Tarn gave the retro dish a new lease of life and bought it up-to-date with this recipe.

How to make salmon roulade

You will need: 

  • Vegetable oil for greasing
  • 60g plain flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 150ml whole milk
  • Small bunch fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 200g good quality smoked salmon, cut into thin slices

For the herb paste

  • Large bunch fresh parsley
  • 2 x small bunches fresh chives, roughly chopped
  • Finely grated zest 1 lemon, plus juice ½
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

For the cream cheese filling

  • 460g Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp creamed horseradish
  • 4 preserved lemons, flesh discarded and peel finely chopped

You’ll also need… 

  • 22cm x 33cm swiss roll tin (or shallow baking tray), lightly greased, the bottom lined with non-stick baking paper (with an overhang at the narrow ends)

This recipe serves 10 as part of a buffet or 6-8 as a starter. Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 10 min, plus 2 hours chilling time.

Make ahead

Make the cream cheese up to 12 hours in advance and keep covered in the fridge.

Food team’s tips

You can use any combination of soft herbs you like for the herb paste (step 4).

Ella’s tips for success

  • Using a pancake instead of the traditional sponge eliminates the worry of the roulade cracking while rolling it up. That said, it’s important not to overcook the pancake or it might go a little hard.
  • Chill the cream cheese before spreading it onto the pancake (step 6), so it doesn’t ooze out of the edges when you roll up the roulade.
  • Use the best quality smoked salmon you can find – it really makes a difference to the flavour.
  • Chilling the roulade before serving makes it easier to cut cleanly, so it keeps its pretty swirl. But the roulade won’t keep for longer than 2 hours as the herbs will release their juices.
  • Cut the roulade with a razor sharp, thin-bladed knife, wiping it clean between slices.

1. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Grease a 22cm x 33cm swiss roll tin (or similar-size shallow baking tray). Line with non-stick baking paper, making sure there’s an overhang at the narrow ends. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. In another medium mixing bowl, lightly whisk together the egg and milk until well combined. Pour the egg and milk mixture into the flour and stir together until just combined.

2. Add three quarters of the dill and stir to mix.

3. Scatter the remaining dill onto the prepared swiss roll tin.

Pour in the batter, then gently tip the tin so the batter spreads evenly and reaches all four corners.

Slide the tin into the oven and bake for 10 minutes until just golden at the edges. Remove the tin from the oven.

4. Holding the overhanging ends of the baking paper, lift out the pancake and flip it over onto a fresh sheet of baking paper, the same size as the first. Gently peel off the top layer of baking paper, then transfer the pancake, still on the clean baking paper, to a wire rack to cool.

5. Put all the herb paste ingredients into a food processor and whizz to a rough paste. Put into a small bowl, cover with cling film, then clean the food processor bowl.

6. Put all the cream cheese filling ingredients into the food processor and whizz until well combined but still with visible chunks of preserved lemon peel. Chill for 30 minutes.

7. Spread the herb paste over the pancake using a palette knife.

Next spread over the cream cheese filling (see Tips For Success), being careful to not disturb the herbs too much – it helps to dollop the mixture on evenly, then gently spread out the filling.

Top the cream cheese with a layer of smoked salmon slices.

8. Roll the pancake into a cylinder, starting at one of the narrow ends.

Use the baking paper to help you roll the pancake and press down gently so it holds its shape when cut. Take care not to press down too much, though, or the filling may be squeezed out. Put on a plate and chill for 1-2 hours (see Tips For Success). Slice into rounds to serve.

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