December 11, 2017 Kim Cox

A Salmon Tray – That You Can Make!

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Planning a special event, hosting for the holidays, or just want to have a great tasting and great looking dish to serve? This salmon tray is exactly what you need.

I’m about to let you in on a little secret that will make you look good to all your friends. They will think you either slaved all day in the kitchen, have special culinary skills or hired an expensive caterer to create this beautiful food display. They will have no idea (and we can keep this between us) how easy and quick this beautiful dish is to create.



My friend showed me a picture of a salmon tray that she found on Pinterest. I knew immediately that I needed to try it. Not only have I tried it, I mastered it and put the Gracious Living Guide spin on it! When I serve it, no one ever believes that I made it myself ! Keep reading and you will be able to make it too!

Salmon tray

The salmon display looks so good – and it tastes as good as it looks! It will become the featured centerpiece of your table for years to come!

This salmon tray is a full meal. While the salmon is the feature, it is chock full of delicious vegetables and sides, both cooked and raw.  I serve it alone as a meal, or as a part of a buffet display or party spread. The key is the have a beautiful and colorful variety of accompaniments.

Salmon tray

Part of the beauty of this tray is that there are no tried and true requirements for making it. You can customize it to include accompaniments that you know your family and friends will enjoy.

There is no specific way to prepare the salmon either;  you can use your favorite recipe, or purchase a salmon already cooked or smoked. You can use my Salmon with Browned Butter Honey Garlic Glaze recipe, or feel free to use your own.

Let’s dissect the tray so that you will be able to create your own.

Salmon tray

The Salmon

I use a whole salmon filet that I get from Costco. After liberally sprinkling it with lemon pepper, I follow the directions for making the browned butter honey garlic glaze.  This glaze combines sweet and savory and really complements the salmon. You can’t lose with this recipe – just be careful not to burn your butter! For the complete recipe and picture directions, click here.

A smoked salmon, or a plain lemon pepper salmon with no sauce would also work just as fine.

The Accompaniments

Every time I make this tray, I use different accompaniments. Sometimes it is based on what I happen to have around at the time, or it may depend on what the likes and dislikes of my guests may be. There is no right or wrong way to do it – as long as it is colorful and tasty.

Salmon tray

On this particular tray, I included the following items:

Sliced red onion
Sliced cucumber
Grilled sweet potatoes
Grilled broccoli
Marinated orange peppers
Grilled red peppers
Cooked asparagus (see recipe below)
Cooked green beans (see recipe below)
Dill sauce (see recipe below)
Whole grain Dijon mustard
Lavash crackers
Garlic toast
Dill for garnish

Don’t let this long list of ingredients discourage you.  You really only need small amounts of them.  In addition, some of this is stuff you already have in your fridge – or use what you have in your fridge.

The salmon tray includes cooked and raw items.The green beans and asparagus I cooked myself (See below for quick and easy recipes. ), and I always cook them ahead.  The grilled items I purchased from Whole Foods. (There is no shame in my game.). I added a few raw items to round out the veggie options.

I also like to include two different types of bread, usually a lavash cracker and toasted French bread.

Salmon tray

I always add a dill sauce. If you put a glaze on your salmon, this isn’t really necessary, but people like to eat it, so I include it. I also include some whole grain mustard for those with more sophisticated tastes.

Salmon tray


The beauty of this tray is just that – it’s beautiful! Salmon, surrounded by enticing, fresh and colorful veggies just makes your mouth water.

Salmon tray

When assembling your tray, I try to use two longer items, in this case green beans and asparagus, as the side anchors of the tray.

Salmon trayThen add the remaining ingredients, being careful to vary the colors and textures.

Salmon tray

It’s also a good idea to mix up the cooked and raw ingredients.

Salmon tray

Insert the small bowls holding the capers and the dill sauce, then the breads and you are ready to serve.

Salmon tray

Now wasn’t that easy?  Before we dissected it, it looked impossible to make, right? Now, don’t you feel like you can do this? YOU CAN! Once you take it apart and put it back together piece by piece, you realize that there is really no magic to it all all.

So now, if you’re having a party, or if a good friend just happens to be stopping over, you’ve got a “go-to” staple that is sure to please!

Salmon tray

This tray can be made ahead, or assembled right before serving.  It is best served room temperature


Here are the recipes you might need to make this tray.

Salmon With Browned Butter Honey Garlic Glaze.

Recipe and picture directions provided.

Dill Sauce

1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped

Mix all ingredients and let sit for one hour.

Garlic Green Beans

1 to 1-1/2 cup green beans
1 teaspoon butter
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of lemon pepper

Blanch the green beans until they are bright in color. Don’t let them get soggy. Drain and add a teaspoon of butter. When the butter has melted, add minced garlic and let it cook for about 2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add lemon pepper to taste.
Serve with pride!

Naked Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil
Place asparagus in pan. Sprinkle salt over asparagus. Add butter to pan. Place under broiler until they turn bright green, tossing them one time to distribute the butter.


Having a party and need beverage ideas? These tried and true recipes are sure to please!

Champagne Punch

Build Your Own Mimosa Bar

Red Wine Sangria

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