Everyone needs an easy and quick yet elegant spread in their back pocket. Whether it’s New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day dinner, Mother’s Day brunch or just a leisurely Saturday night at home, sometimes you want a comforting appetizer that feels more upscale from a typical casual dip. For those times, this herbed smoked trout spread tastes fancy, but it’s a breeze to make.
Besides, who doesn’t love a nice, creamy spread with toasted, crisp bread slices? No one. That’s who. I often make this spread to go with a big cheese and charcuterie board. Sure, a cheese and charcuterie board is delicious on its own, but adding this herbed smoked trout spread takes it to the next level.
While this spread starts with a creamy mascarpone base, it’s loaded with delicate chunks of smoked trout. As a huge seafood fan, I love letting the smoked trout shine in this spread, and that it does. Each ingredient offers the perfect complement to the smoked trout without overpowering it. Some fresh herbs give this spread a savory kick while lemon adds a level of acidity and brightness. No matter the occasion, this herbed smoked trout spread is always a hit at parties, and I have no doubt you’ll love it as much as I do.
How to Make Herbed Smoked Trout Spread
Now let’s chat about how to make this quick and simple herbed smoked trout spread that’s sure to impress. We start by mixing together softened mascarpone and creme fraiche, which is like a fancy sour cream. Creme fraiche isn’t quite as tangy as sour cream and has a richer body. You can substitute sour cream in a pinch, but I prefer creme fraiche with this spread.
To combine the mascarpone and creme fraiche, I like to use a food processor for an extra creamy and smooth base. You can go old school and mix it in a bowl with a wooden spoon, but it’ll take a little muscle to really combine the two. A hand or stand mixer would even work as well.
Once the mascarpone and creme fraiche have come together to make a delicious, creamy base, we simply stir in smoked trout, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, chives, tarragon and a pinch of cayenne pepper. If you’re on a time crunch, you can serve it right away, but I like to give it a few hours in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to meld. Plus, refrigerating makes for the perfect make-ahead appetizer, and that’s always a win for me.
About 10 minutes before serving, I recommend taking out the smoked trout spread to let it sit in room temperature. This allows the spread to soften, and all those delicious flavors come to the forefront. If a spread is too cold, you can lose all those flavor nuisances, so it’s best to give it a little time to sit.
While this recipe uses smoked trout, it’s also great with smoked salmon. This is one of those spreads that’s versatile and customizable, so feel free to get creative. If you have other fresh herbs on hand, I’m sure they’d be delicious in this smoked trout spread. Now spoon onto some crusty crostini and enjoy.
Perfect Pairings for Herbed Smoked Trout Spread
With the rich, creamy mascarpone and creme fraiche and salty smoked trout, I love a beer or wine that acts as a palate cleanser. For beer, I’m partial to a weissbeer with its effervescent body and citrusy snap. Given its many lakes and rivers, Germany loves its trout recipes, so using a German beer as a nod to this trout-loving country makes the pairing extra fun.
If you’re craving a glass of wine with this herbed smoked trout spread, you can’t go wrong with a glass of bubbly. Champagne is the ultimate palate cleanser, and it cuts through the creamy base and smoky flavor easily. Plus, Champagne’s minerality nicely complements the smoked trout. A German Alsace dry riesling is another good choice if you want to stick with the German theme.
I hope you share this herbed smoked trout spread during your next gathering. Trust me. Everyone will be happy you did. Please let me know how you enjoyed this herbed smoked trout spread recipe in the comment section and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. You can also catch me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
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- KitchenAid KFP1133CU 11-Cup Food Processor with ExactSlice System
- Citrus Lemon Zester & Cheese Grater by AdeptChef – Parmesan Cheese, Lemon, Ginger, Garlic, Vegetables, Fruits – Razor-sharp Stainless Steel Blade Protective Cover, Dishwasher Safe
This herbed-smoked trout spread with fresh chives and tarragon is elegant yet quick and easy to make. It’s always a hit at parties and sure to impress.
8 ounces mascarpone, softened
1/2 cup creme fraiche
8 ounces smoked trout, skin and bones removed and flaked into pieces
3 garlic cloves, grated
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Crostini, for serving
- Blend the softened mascarpone and creme fraiche in a food processor until smooth. Alternatively, you can mix by hand or use a hand or stand mixer. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- In the mixing bowl, stir in the smoked trout, grated garlic cloves, lemon juice, chives, tarragon, lemon zest and cayenne pepper. Spoon the herbed smoked trout spread into a serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a few hours.
- Ten minutes before serving, allow the herbed smoked trout spread to sit in room temperature. Serve with crostini. Enjoy!
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: No Cook
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: smoked trout spread, smoked trout dip, trout pate