Swedish food: How to make salmon gratin

Swedish food: How to make salmon gratin
Salmon gratin, in Swedish: Gratinerad lax. Photo: Swedish food
Food writer John Duxbury shows us how to turn this simple meal with salmon and potatoes into a special delight.

A really Swedelicious dish and perfect for a midweek meal or a special occasion. The use of two types of salmon makes it extra tasty. 


Serves 4 portions

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes


700g (1 ½ lb) potatoes, preferably a waxy variety

5cm (2in) leek

½ onion

2 tbsp olive oil

125g (4oz) fresh spinach

25g (3 tbsp) finely chopped dill

25g (4 tbsp) roughly chopped parsley

300g (10oz) salmon fillet

150g (5oz) smoked salmon

180ml (¾ cup) whipping cream

120ml (½ cup) milk

salt and freshly ground black pepper


50g (4 tbsp) melted clarified butter, optional lemon wedgesMethod


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas 6, fan 180°C).

2. Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water for about 10 minutes. (They should not be fully cooked.) Pour off the water and leave the potatoes to cool.

3. Finely slice the leek and onion.4. Fry the onion and leek in the oil until just beginning to soften.

5. Add the spinach and fry for a minute or so until wilted.

6. Turn off the heat and add the chopped dill and parsley. Mix thoroughly and transfer to a gratin dish.

7. Cut the salmon into bite sized pieces and spread over the spinach mixture.

8. Slip the skins off the potatoes and then cut into 3-5 mm (⅜”) slices and arrange on top of the salmon, stacking the slices at a slight angle.

9. Heat the cream and milk together until it boils. Pour over the potatoes.

10. Season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper and bake for about 35 minutes until the top is nicely coloured.

11. Serve with warm clarified butter, lemon wedges and a green salad.


– Although salmon gratin (gratinerad lax) is traditionally eaten with melted clarified butter, a little fresh lemon juice is a tasty alternative.

– Even if it is not quite as nice reheated as when freshly made, I usually make enough for 4 people, even when there are only two of us, and divide it between two gratin dishes, so that one of the dishes can be reheated.

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of Swedish Food.