Salmon in a Jar (#SundaySupper)

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Is anyone else having a really hard time wrapping their head around the fact that it’s Memorial Day weekend already? Where have the first five months of 2013 gone?! Based on the weather, I don’t think Mother Nature isn’t quite ready for the unofficial kickoff to summer either – it’s about 45 degrees outside and pouring rain. Gross. (It’s ok, I’m not ready for summer anyway – I need to lose a few pounds first! If you’re in the same boat and want some extra motivation, consider joining my diet bet so we can cheer each other on!)

This weekend, the Sunday Supper gang is celebrating summer with a picnic theme. I’m really excited about this theme because I LOVE picnics! We try to go on as many as we can each summer – either at SPAC or Tanglewood or just at the park. They range from super casual, with sandwiches grabbed from Subway at the last minute, to more elaborate affairs with cold fried chicken or “fancy” sandwiches (my favorite has prosciutto, soprasetta, smoked mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and asparagus). There’s just something about eating outside that makes food taste so much better!

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This week I decided to make a recipe that I’ve been dying to try for forever: Salmon in a Jar from Dorie Greenspan’s book, Around My French Table. Now that I’ve tasted it, I’m kicking myself for not trying it sooner! This is classic bistro food, with succulent cured salmon and creamy boiled potatoes swimming in seasoned olive oil.

It takes a little advance planning – you’ll need to start the salmon the night before – but it’s otherwise effortless and the results are well worth it. This meal is pure decadence, the kind of meal that you’ll happily sit over for hours. And, since you prepare and serve the dish in jars, it’s very portable – perfect for a picnic! Serve it with crusty bread and some tangy olives and pickles to balance out the fatty fish and oil. A little champagne or prosecco doesn’t hurt either. (my picnic basket always, always, always includes a bottle of wine!)

salmon in a jar-1

Salmon in a Jar (#SundaySupper)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Don't be scared off by the amount of olive oil in this recipe – you don't actually eat it, so almost all of it will be left once your meal is done. It's also incredibly flavorful, so go ahead any use it to season other dishes throughout the week.
Serve this with a selection of pickles and olives to help cleanse your palate and balance out the fatty fish. It's the perfect excuse to visit your nearest grocery store's olive bar!
Serves: 2-4
  • ½ pound salmon fillet, skinned
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ pound small yellow potatoes
  • 20 coriander seeds
  • 20 peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves, halved
  • 8 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons white vinegar
  • Lemon wedges and crusty bread, for serving
  1. Slice the salmon into 6 pieces and place in s small dish. Add the salt and sugar, turning to coast each piece of salmon evenly. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, the salmon will be deep pink and very firm. Run under water to wash off the brine.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the potatoes until they are soft and can be pierced easily with a fork – about 10 minutes. Drain.
  3. Add half the salmon to a pint-sized canning jar; and half the potatoes to a second jar. Add some carrot, onion, and spices to each jar and top with a second layer of salmon or potatoes. Top with remaining vegetables and spices. Pour in olive oil enough olive oil to cover the ingredients. Add the vinegar to the jar with the potatoes. Cover both jars and refrigerate at least 6 hours.
  4. Serve at room temperature with lemon wedges and crusty bread.
Adapted from Around My French Table.
Nutrition information is an estimate calculated assuming each person will eat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 489 Fat: 28 Carbohydrates: 33.2 Fiber: 4 Protein: 28

SundaySupper_thumb1As always, be sure to check out what the other Sunday Supper participants brought to the table and join us from 7-8pm EST for a Twitter chat all about picnics!

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  1. What a great way to serve salmon at a picnic – I love the zingy flavours!

  2. I am definitely excited for picnic weather but this season is NOT a good reflection of that! Either way i am really excited about this salmon in a jar. I recently came across a gravlax recipe that took WEEKS to make and I was so not enthused…so I’m loving that this is an overnight way of almost curing salmon, even if it’s not exactly gravlax!

  3. What a fun way to serve Salmon, would have never thought of that and I just love it!
    That salmon looks SO wonderful – love salmon!

  4. Ohhhhhh, yes. I LOVE this presentation!

  5. I see a whole lot of salmon lovers smiling big at this recipe! What a picnic it would be to have this in the basket. Plus using the extra oil later. Brilliant!

  6. We love salmon! What a fun recipe!

  7. How unique! This is perfect picnic food, can’t wait to try it.

  8. Magnificent! I’ve made this, too, and savored every bite. Beautifully done :)

  9. I love this! I love salmon and I can just taste the zesty goodness. Also I’ve seen and read about so many recipes coming from Dorie Greenspan’s book that I may have to buy it now.

  10. Love this idea! I want to try salmon this way!

  11. Diana @GourmetDrizzles says:

    This is seriously cool! Thanks for sharing this neat idea, can’t wait to give it a try!

  12. I always have a bottle of champagne or wine in my picnic basket too :) This is a completely new recipe to me. I must try this!

  13. That looks like the most perfect of picnics. I have to try this as we are all huge salmon lovers especially my daughter!!

  14. This is a great idea.

  15. How unique! Never heard of this before, I love learning new things during #SundaySupper!

  16. Oh…I could get addicted to this. Wow! Do you know how long the salmon in the jar keeps in the refrigerator? Probably just a few days?

    • Lauren Keating says:

      I honestly don’t know but I wouldn’t keep it for more than a day or two, just to be on the safe side.

      • it can stay for up to a week in the fridge.

        • Hi, I have begun the brining part and was going to do the pickling part tonight for a party tomorrow night. My friend says that I shouldn’t do that too early because the pickling acids may ‘cook’ the salmon and make it tough. She recommends that I wait until early tomorrow morning before I head out for work. I did the brining from this morning. Is it ok to let the salmon sit in the brine another 12 or so hours over night? Could I go ahead and wash off the brine and finish up this dish even though it will sit in the pickling juices longer than six hours?

          • Lauren Keating says:

            Hi Amala – It’s not actually pickling liquid (there’s not that much acid) so it won’t cook the fish or make it tough. I’d go ahead and do that step tonight. Six hours is the minimum for the final step – it will keep longer than that. Enjoy!

  17. What a fantastic (and creative) way to serve salmon! Thanks for sharing!

  18. hey, this looks very interesting and healthy!

  19. Annabelle says:

    I’m new to eating salmon. Is this a recipe where you take RAW salmon and follow the recipe and several hours latter you eat it? I’m not familiar with raw salmon….does the short brining time cook it somehow? I love salmon on the grill but not sure about this method…..thanks for any words of advice.

    • Lauren Keating says:

      Yes, you start with raw salmon. The brine/cure helps preserve ti by removing a lot of moisture, but it doesn’t actually cook it so it will still have a raw sort of texture – like lox or sushi. I understand that it might not be for everyone but it truly is delicious (sushi used to freak me out, so I get it)

  20. We use salmon in a jar for many salad recipes, like Russian Shuba salad.

  21. Lauren,
    This looks so delicious and appeals to the Norwegian/Swedish blood in me!
    Thank you!

  22. This sounds like a great supper to cook ahead and eat later.

  23. looks delicious. . I have Dorie’s book and must try this. . yum!!!

  24. Family Foodie says:

    Such an interesting recipe, and I love salmon! I love using mason jars and they work perfectly for a picnic!

  25. What a great recipe, you can’t say no to something in a jar either. Plus I’d totally be dipping my bread in that leftover olive oil!

  26. Emily P. says:

    This sounds amazing! Looking forward to trying it. Are you planning to attend any Tanglewood shows this year? I’ve already got two on my list!

  27. How unique! I have to admit, I’ve never tried anything like this before!

  28. Love the delicious flavors you’ve got going in this jar and such a great idea for a fun Picnic Food in a jar!Yumm!!


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