salmon in a jar-1 salmon in a jar-2

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

Yields 2-4

Salmon in a Jar (#SundaySupper)

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!

15 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

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  • 1/2 pound salmon fillet, skinned
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 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.

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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