This recipe is for a terrine in a puff-pastry crust. the terrine has layers of spinach pesto, goat cheese (OK if you have lactose intolerance!), and salmon.

Do not substitute the home-made pesto described below with store-bought pesto! This recipe will not work with creamy pesto (besides, store-bought is mostly junk and making it yourself is easy)! If you are looking for regular creamy pesto recipe: a quick-and-easy regular pesto one is provided in Dino's antipasti platter recipe.

  • Preparation time - pesto: 10 minutes (excluding thawing out the frozen spinach!)
  • Preparation time - pesto: 30 minutes (excluding thawing out the frozen spinach)
  • Preparation time - terrine: 30 minutes
  • Bake time: 50-60 minutes
  • Makes 15 servings.


  • Ingredients for the spinach pesto:
  • 750 grams (1.5 lbs) frozen whole-leaf spinach (do not use finely chopped or creamed frozen spinach)
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 - 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (never use the bone-dry pre-ground stuff!)
  • 5 heaping tablespoons pine nuts (best if lightly toasted just before making the pesto)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Other ingredients for the terrine:
  • 150 gram (1/3 pound) skinless salmon filet (fresh or fresh frozen)
  • 1 sheet puff pastry sheet
  • one standard large round sheet (230 gram ; 1/2 lb) is enough for two terrines.
  • 1 roll of goat cheese.
  • do not use very soft, fresh, un-aged goat cheese - it is too mild in taste and too easy to spread.
  • no need to get expensive goat cheese, as it will not be eaten "straight".
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice


  • For the pesto:
  • cheese cloth, or lots of paper kitchen towels
  • fine-mesh sieve
  • food processor
  • medium size bowl

  • For the terrine:
  • rolling pin
  • some flour
  • some vegetable oil
  • loaf pan, standard medium size (about 24x10 cm ; 9.5x4 inch)


  • For the pesto:
  • Thaw out the frozen spinach and drain very well. This takes lots of squeezing in cheese cloth or paper kitchen towels!
  • After draining the water, the weight of the spinach should be reduced by at least 50%!
  • First, I let the spinach drain by itself in a fine-mesh sieve, then I press the spinach mass with my fist, then I transfer the spinach mass onto paper towels and put this into the sieve and press - repeat until almost no more water comes out.
  • Important: in the end, the spinach much be a big pasty lump - no liquid should drain out if you let it sit on a plate for a while. We are not making a pesto with the creamy consistency of store-bought pesto!
  • Put the spinach, garlic, basil, and the salt in a food processor
  • Pulse several times to begin chopping & blending the ingredients, then turn to high speed and slowly pour in the olive oil until the mixture is just beginning to get smooth.
  • Add the pine nuts and blend some more.
  • Transfer to a bowl and stir in the grated cheese.
  • This makes enough pesto for two terrines, or for one terrine and have left-over for a pasta meal.

  • For the terrine:
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (375 °F)
  • Keep the puff pastry dough in the fridge until you are going to work it; the other ingredients should be at room temperature.
  • Prepare the salmon filet:
  • If using frozen filet, put in ziplock bag, suck out the air, and put in warm water for 10-15 minutes (you can even wrap it thoroughly in kitchen film, if you don't have a lockable bag)
  • Towel-dry the salmon filets and remove any brownish parts from the spine area.
  • Cut the salmon across, into 3 or 4 pieces. When put side-by-side or head-to-tail, they must be almost as long as the loaf pan.
  • On a lightly flour-dusted surface, roll out the dough until it is about 20% bigger
  • Lightly grease the loaf pan with some vegetable oil, even if it is a non-stick pan (I sometimes a quick spray of "PAM")
  • Completely line the pan with the dough:
  • Cut off excess dough that hangs over the edge of the pan
  • Cut out excess dough in the corners (but don't remove so much dough that the pan becomes visible)
  • Fully cover the bottom of the pan with a 1/2 - 1 cm (1/4 - 1/2") layer of pesto
  • Cut the roll of goat cheese lengthwise into 2-3 strips, and put them lengthwise on top of the pesto
  • Lightly pack pesto around the cheese
  • Lightly pack pesto on top of the cheese, until 2-3 cm (≈1") from the top of the pan
  • Align the salmon pieces lengthwise on top of the pesto
  • Fold the dough that sticks out above the pesto, towards the salmon.
  • Sprinkle the lemon juice over the salmon pieces.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes - the dough should be dark golden.


Ready to put put into the oven




  • I serve this as an appetizer or first course.
  • Can be served right out of the oven, sliced into thick medallions, preferably on plates that have been heated in the oven.
  • Also quite tasty cold, e.g., at a summer pick-nick.
  • Can be re-heated.


  • Left over pesto can be used used with a pasta meal.
  • Pesto can be made well ahead and kept in the fridge; if so, make sure that it is back up at room temperature when you are going to use it in the above recipe.

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