French Kitchen Classic: Smoked Salmon Plate

Today, we’re featuring a simple starter to serve for a special meal or a holiday sit down dinner — a smoked salmon plate  (assiette de saumon fumé).  In France, it is served as a cold first course (entrée froide/hors d’oeuvre froid) and is a classic offered during a French multi-course Christmas dinner or Christmas lunch.  Check our Art of the Home detailed recipe and Art of the Home suggestions as well as wine recommendations below.  Enjoy and bon appétit!!!

Smoked Salmon Plate  (Assiette de Saumon fumé)

by Art of the Home

Ingredients (for 4 servings)

  • 12-16 smoked salmon slices (e.g. 3-4 per serving, number of slices will depend on how many courses you will serve)
  • 3 lemons (e.g. Meyer lemons)
  • Parsley (persil) and/or chives (ciboulette) to decorate


  • Lemon preparation: cut 2 lemons in half in a lemon crown pattern like the picture below.  Cut the 3rd lemon in thin half or quarter circle slices.  Set aside to decorate the plates before serving.

"lemon crown" "lemon carving"

  • Place smoked salmon slices arranged as shown in the picture above on plate.  You can also roll them up and have them meet at the center of the plate.  Feel free to use your imagination.
  • Mince some of the parsley, keep a few branches to decorate each plate.  You can use the minced parsley to sprinkle around each plate.
  • Plate decoration: arrange lemon, parsley and chives to add a festive touch to your presentation.

Art of the Home Suggestions:

  1. Wine suggestions: a dry white wine pairs well with smoked salmon so we suggest a Chardonnay, a Chablis (a very dry French Chardonnay) or a Bourgogne aligoté (Burgundy aligote.)
  2. Bread: a smoked smoked plate is delicious served with toasted French bread.  You can offer salted butter in a butter dish for guests that wish to butter their bread but it is delicious without butter too.
  3. Decoration: you can serve your salmon on a bed of lettuce leaves.  You may want to spike some chives at the center of the lemon to add some height to your plate presentation.
  4. Light lunch: a salmon plate is a great option for a light spring lunch.