Pickled Pike Salad Sandwich

I don’t remember the first time I ate pickled herring. I didn’t have some great, holy shit moment, that changed the way I eat. Pickled herring has just always been a part of what I eat. It has always been a mainstay at every family gathering and special occasion. I can’t ever remember a time when I didn’t have pickled fish. On really special occasions my Grandmother would give us creamed herring. Had you told the ten year old version of me that it was the same pickled herring with sour cream stirred in, I wouldn’t have believed it. There must have been some sort of very rare and exotic ingredient that made it that much better. Fortunately it really is that simple and my love for pickled fish has only grown over the years. 

There was a small part of me that didn’t want to learn how to make pickled fish. I think I was afraid that if I learned to make it myself it would lose some of that mystique. Like if I lifted that curtain I would somehow not enjoy it as much. Lucky for me I ignored that voice and started making my own pickled pike last year. It was the first batch of pickled fish I had ever made and it was incredible and left me craving more. So I set out to catch some northern pike and keep them in the freezer until I was able to make another batch. 

I now have nine pints of pickled pike in the fridge and as much as I like to eat pickled fish I found myself thinking of other ways I could use pickled fish. I have always just eaten it on a cracker or with a piece of rye toast. I did make a pickled herring cake once that although it sounds wrong was actually really frickin good. I looked through all my books and came across a recipe in the Williams Sonoma Hors d'oeuvres book for an apple, onion and herring salad that looked good enough to try.

I simplified the recipe a little and added some dill and serano chili but the concept is still the same. finely chopped red onion, some apples and pickled pike. What I ended up with was a mind blowing success and only reaffirms what I have believed all my life. Pickled fish is one of the best foods on earth and continues to make me feel like a kid getting a special treat at Grandmas house every time I eat it.
Pickled Pike Salad

 8 0z pickled pike, chopped
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1 granny smith apple diced
1 tsp fresh dill chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
a few slices of Serano chili
salt and pepper to taste
sorrel leaves and chives to garnish
Swedish rye bread

Combine the first 7 ingredients and stir together, taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Then serve on some good rye bread with a garnish of chives and sorrel leaves and enjoy.