Smoked Fish and Dill Spread with Horseradish


Photo by Michael Piazza

If you’re an angler and like to smoke the fish you’ve caught yourself, this is one of the best ways to serve it to a crowd at a party. If you’re not, packaged smoked fillets from Maine are readily available—try this recipe with any smoked fish you like: Bluefish, trout or mackerel work equally well. The key is not to blend it—flake the fish into the ricotta–cream cheese base so each bite has a different texture and flavor. Serve with radishes, carrots, sugar snap peas and buttery toast points. Or pile it in a pretty silver dish to nestle onto a platter of smoked salmon or lox for a bagel brunch, garnished with lots of lemon and dill and Bloody Marys on the side.

Serves 6–8 as an appetizer

1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
½ block cream cheese
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (preferably organic)
pinch cayenne pepper, or more if you like spice
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup dill, finely chopped
1 small shallot, minced
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 filets smoked fish of your choice (bluefish, trout, mackerel or whitefish), skin removed and checked for pin bones

In the bowl of a food processor, blend the ricotta, cream cheese, horseradish, lemon juice and zest, Worcestershire, cayenne and black pepper.

Scrape into a bowl and fold in the dill, shallot and chives, then flake in the fish and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. Chill until ready to serve.

This recipe appeared in the Summer 2019 issue as part of a larger story on Dips, Spreads and Sauces.