Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wild Salmon & Dill Spread

If you're Jewish, particularly if you're a Jew from New York, than you probably enjoy indulging once in a while (or often!) in a chewy bagel slathered in cream cheese, covered with a few slices of salty, buttery lox...and maybe garnished with a sprig of fresh dill, red onion, capers, cucumber and/or tomato slices.  Jewish deli food at its finest!

Cream cheese is found in a lot of Jewish dishes, and honestly, I love the stuff.  But it's not exactly a nutritional superstar.  High in fat and salt, low in protein and calcium, it doesn't really do the body good.  If you're looking for a better alternative, try quark!  What the heck is quark? It's a fresh cheese with the same consistency as cream cheese, but is low in sodium, low in fat, and high in calcium and protein.  It's an amazing versatile product that can be used as a base for spreads, like this one, or used in cooking and baking for both sweet or savoury recipes.  If you are not a big fan of mayo, you will also really love this as an alternative. 

Not only is this spread incredibly delicious, it's also healthy!  High in protein, omega-3 fats from the fish, and calcium, I filled a whole grain lavash with this spread, piled in some fresh baby arugula, and rolled it up. IT WAS AMAZING!  But this would also be great on bagels, crackers, or scooped on top of salad greens.  I am going to be making this again and again for sure!

Wild Salmon & Dill Spread

1 lb wild salmon fillets
zest of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp dried dill
1/8 tsp Herbamare or plain sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper

1/3 cup quark
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried dill
2 large or 3 small dill pickles, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Season salmon fillets with lemon, garlic dill, salt and pepper and place on foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake at 425 for 8-12 minutes (depending on thickness of fillets), until desired doneness.  Let cool.  Place fillets in a medium bowl and mash with a fork.  Add remaining ingredients and season to taste.  Enjoy!  Keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.

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