Herring Rillettes in Romaine

Or herring roulette more like… 

Herring Roulette in Romaine Lettuce Boats

Herring Roulette in Romaine Lettuce Boats

I did it.  I got smashed. Finally completed the set.

What am I talking about?  I’m certainly not talking about completing a set of round the world beers, or the top shelf of a drinks cabinet that’s for sure!

SMASH is actually an acronym for some of the oily fish we should be consuming cos they’re so darn Omega-3 & Vitamin-D filled good for you.  I was scared of herring for a long time but I now proudly have a full set of SMASH recipes on the blog;


I bought these herring fillets from my local posh fishmonger, and at just over £1 per fish I couldn’t believe how reasonable they were – in fact not posh at all.  The herring had been de-boned by the fishmonger, though on closer inspection the fish did still contain lots of little bones.  These bones can be eaten and just add to the nutritional content of the fish.  

Raw Herring

Raw Herring

I could have just served them up simply baked in the oven with a little butter or ghee, but having seen many Scandinavian-style cuisine suggestions (particularly this one by Nigel Slater) for mixing them up into a rillette (a rough pate) I decided to play roulette with my tastebuds and give this idea a go.  Was it going to satisfy my rumbling tum or make me heave?  I really suspected the later.  Despite my preconceptions I was pleasantly surprised that the final dish tasted fantastic.  Maybe those Scandinavians are on to something here.   

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/4 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 10g grated ginger
  • 1 tsp grated horseradish (fresh ideally, or a dairy-free sauce)
  • 1 tsp capers
  • Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp homemade olive oil mayo (adjust quantity to your liking)
  • Seasoning
  • 10g butter or ghee
  • 2 raw herring fillets
  • 4 large Romaine (or gem) lettuce leaves to serve


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree C.
  • First grate the carrot, and mix with the lemon juice, vinegar, ginger, horseradish, capers, parsley.  Stir in the mayo – adjust quantity to your liking.  Season to taste.  Set aside in the fridge for the flavours to infuse.
  • Place the herring fillets, flesh side up in a baking dish, dot with the butter (or ghee).  Bake in the oven for 18 minutes, till the flesh is soft and flakey.  Remove from the oven and wait for it to cool a little.
  • Flake the fish with a fork away from its skin and stir into the carrot mix. Pour in any juices from the baking dish.
  • Pile the rillette into the Romaine lettuce leaves to serve.
  • You could add additional veg on the side to take it up to a full meal.

What foods do you play roulette with?  What’s your favourite way to eat herring?  I’d love to find more ideas!


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