Put the pleasure back into Christmas with this quick-win classic starter

By Lovin Dublin

December 15, 2022 at 9:44am

Brought to you by Lidl

We've all been there, visitors on the doorstep and not a thing done in the house

The guests have arrived, you’re still sweating over the oven, dinner isn’t ready, the table hasn’t been set, the Christmas playlist isn’t on, and - oh my God! - you haven’t had a minute to even think about the starter. The starter! They’ll need to eat something now because dinner is still ages away, and wait... are you even dressed?

Okay, don’t worry - this is a bad dream. None of it is real. And you can easily avoid the stress of that nightmare scenario with a simple and quick-win starter that won’t take hours to prepare. Your guests expect a starter but preparing one doesn’t have to be a chore. A trusted classic like salmon and brown bread will win every time. When done right, it’s the ultimate crowd-pleaser. A dish that feels almost luxurious without ever being too fussy. And best of all, it will practically prepare itself while you get on with the other big jobs.



For it to be truly special and suitable for the starring role of Christmas starter, you’ll want to use Irish soda bread. This is non-negotiable. You can go with your granny’s recipe or a shop-bought version. Then just before the guests arrive, pop it in the oven to gently heat it, but be careful not to toast it. It has to be soft and fluffy but warm enough for a dollop of melting butter.

Now for the salmon. Slices of premium quality organic Irish salmon are what you’re after. Already cooked, so you can just gently peel them from the package and place them on the bread. Lidl Deluxe Irish Organic Smoked Salmon (€3.99) is hand-salted and smoked naturally over oak chips. It’s got the Bord Bia quality mark, and when it sits on Irish soda bread, with a wedge of lemon and some dill fonds as a topping, it evokes warming childhood memories when everything seemed simpler and little luxuries were rarer.







Irish brown soda bread
Deluxe organic smoked salmon
Lemon wedges
Fresh dill



Slice the brown bread and spread the slices with butter.
Lay a couple of slices of smoked salmon on each slice of bread.
Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Garnish with dill fronds and serve with white wine.

Suggested pairing 

To round the dish off, pair it with a dry, sparkling wine. A Cava like Lidl’s Arestal Cava Brut (€11.49) has a refreshing acidity to complement the rich, fatty fish. Plus, it’s always a good idea to start the day with bubbles. If you prefer a non-sparkling wine, go for Lidl’s Summerhouse Sauvignon Blanc (€9.49). The New Zealand wine has lovely crisp and bright citrus notes that pair well with the lemon in the salmon.


There you have it; the starter is done for you. All you have to do is keep an eye on the turkey, switch on Christmas FM, put your festive glad rags on, and relax.

For a Christmas without compromise head to your local Lidl