Produced by Brett Levine // Food Styling by Lily Plauché 

Photography by Alison Miksch

Taking a bite of a terrine may seem a little like taking a step into the past, but that is what makes these dishes so delicious. A popular component of classic cookbook recipes, these modern takes on terrines prove that you really should take the time to get these to the table.

Traditionally, terrines are made in special dishes—sometimes even with beautiful embellishments—that add visual excitement to the beauty of how the dish is constructed. Because, in fact, terrines are constructed, with layers of vegetables, savories, and meats coming together to be cut into jaw-dropping, eye-popping slices on the plate.

Here are three savory terrines. Each updates the classic take on terrines with its unique blend of fresh, bold, new flavors. Leek and Smoked Salmon Terrine combines the spicy flavor of leeks, the tartness of lemons, and the rich flavors of smoked salmon. Mascarpone and crème fraiche add in richness. Layer these together, let them chill, and prepare for a slice perfectly chilled.

A blend of cheeses, beets, and fresh herbs makes Beet and Herb Terrine seem like a bite of spring. Walnuts add a subtle crunch, and pair perfectly with the cream cheese blend. Sprinkle some peppercorns on top for a little extra bite if you like.

Some fresh, lightly salted tomato wedges, a vegetable stock made with fresh tomato juice, form a great foundation for a Tomato Terrine. Who would imagine six pounds of fresh vegetables could create such a delight? Some white wine vinegar adds just the right amount of tart bite, and garnishes including fresh mozzarella, basil, black pepper, or olive oil mean you can bring your favorite flavors to every bite.

So, put terrines back on the menu, and take the time to rediscover your kitchen’s flavor-packed, architecturally designed wonders. They make take a few minutes to build, but they look beautiful on the plate, and taste even better on your palate.

Beet and Herb Terrine

Serves: 8

6 medium red beets, trimmed (1 pound)

6 medium gold beets, trimmed (1 pound)

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

10 ounces goat cheese, softened

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1 clove garlic, finely grated

¼ cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pink or black pepper

Garnish: pink peppercorns

  1. Place beets in a large pot; fill with water to cover the beets. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to a gentle boil and cook 30-40 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and let cool.
  2. Stir together cream cheese and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Line an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with parchment or plastic wrap.
  3. Peel beets and thinly slice. Arrange a single layer of beets on bottom of pan; top with a thin layer of cream cheese, covering beets completely. Repeat layers until the ingredients are used up (you should have approximately 6 layers of beets). Cover loaf pan and place a weight on the top (a can of beans would work fine). Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  4. To serve, uncover terrine and invert onto platter. Sprinkle with peppercorns, if desired. Cut into 1- inch slices.

2Tomato Terrine

Serves: 8

6 pounds large firm ripe tomatoes, peeled

1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 ½ tablespoons unflavored gelatin

1 cup vegetable stock

2 tablespoons chopped chives

2 tablespoon chopped basil

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Garnishes: fresh mozzarella, basil, black pepper, olive oil

  1. Set a wire mesh strainer over a bowl. Cut each tomato into 4 wedges. Remove seeds; place seeds and pulp in strainer. Place seeded tomato wedges on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Press on tomato seeds and pulp in strainer to release juice until you have ½ cup juice. Sprinkle gelatin over ½ cup tomato juice; let stand 5 minutes. Heat vegetable stock until steaming; gradually whisk into gelatin mixture, whisking until gelatin dissolves. Stir in ¼ teaspoon salt. Let stand 15 minutes to cool slightly. Stir in chives, basil, and vinegar.
  3. Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing 3 inches to hang over sides. Pour ½ cup stock mixture into bottom of pan; refrigerate 15 minutes or until set. Arrange some of the tomato slices in a single layer, pressing down gently. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the stock mixture over tomatoes. Repeat layers, using all of the tomatoes and stock. Drizzle any remaining stock over top. Cover with plastic wrap. Place weights on top (can of beans or jelly would work fine). Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  4. To serve, unmold terrine and invert onto a platter. Garnish if desired. Slice into 1-inch slices.

3Leek and Smoked Salmon Terrine

Serves: 8

16 medium leeks

4 ounces mascarpone, softened

4 ounces crème fraiche

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt, divided

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

8 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Trim root end of leeks ½ inch. Trim stem ends of leeks so each leek is 9 inches long. Rinse each leek well, in between layers as much as possible. Cook leeks, in batches, 12-14 minutes or until very tender. Drain leeks on paper towel-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Let cool completely.
  2. Combine mascarpone, crème fraiche, lemon zest, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Don’t overmix. Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing 4 inches hanging over the sides.
  3. Line loaf pan completely with 4 oz salmon slices, overlapping slightly if necessary. Layer 4 leeks in a single layer on top of salmon; spread with a thin layer of mascarpone mixture. Repeat with a second layer of leeks going in the opposite direction as the first layer. Repeat until loaf pan is full. Top with remaining 4 oz salmon slices. Pull plastic wrap around to cover the terrine. Place a weight on top of terrine (can of beans or full jelly jar would work fine) and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  4. To serve, unwrap terrine and invert. Cut into 1-inch thick slices.

Leave a Reply