Dear Lynne,

We need a sauce for smoked salmon for a fancy dinner. Any thoughts beyond sour cream and chives?

–Robert in St. Paul

Dear Robert,

I am tempted to say just do the classic -- slices of salmon, lemon wedges, black bread and minced onion. If the salmon is good, you can hardly go wrong.

If you want another take, try this recipe. It’s a variation of a dish the French chef-cum-deity Joel Robuchon used to serve in his Paris restaurant, Jamin, that feels pretty fancy.


Parisian Cream for Smoked Fish

Serves 6 to 8

You could put this together up to 3 hours in advance.

  • 9 tablespoons cold heavy whipping cream (preferably not ultra-pasteurized, nor containing additives)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon grated horseradish (jarred if necessary)
  • A generous 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 3 to 4 drops Tabasco sauce
  • 3/4 cup finely-scissored chives
  • 2 tablespoons black lumpfish caviar (garnish)

1. Chill a medium mixing bowl and beaters. Whip the cream, horseradish and lemon zest to soft peaks. Gently fold in vinegar, Tabasco and chives. Taste for balance, adjusting ingredients if needed. Chill up to 3 hours.

2. Serve mounded next to slices of smoked salmon or trout on individual dishes. Top each mound with about 1/2 teaspoon black caviar.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Lynne Rossetto Kasper has won numerous awards as host of The Splendid Table, including two James Beard Foundation Awards (1998, 2008) for Best National Radio Show on Food, five Clarion Awards (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014) from Women in Communication, and a Gracie Allen Award in 2000 for Best Syndicated Talk Show.