Coulibiac in Phyllo with Dilled Cucumber Relish




3⁄4 cup (175 mL) Wehani rice
11⁄2 cups (375 mL) water
1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) salt



12 to 16 oz (375 to 500 g) boneless fresh salmon fillet
3 tbsp (45 mL) butter, divided
2 eggs
1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
4 oz (125 g) cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
1⁄4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme, chopped
1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) each of salt and freshly ground black pepper


Finishing & Relish

6 sheets phyllo dough
1⁄2 cup (125 mL) butter, melted
1 small English cucumber
1 cup (250 mL) sour cream or full-fat yogurt
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh dill
1 small clove garlic, minced


  1. Combine rice, water and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to very low. Simmer for 40 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool to room temperature.
  2. Remove skin, brown-fat and any lingering bones from salmon; discard. Cut salmon into 1⁄4- to 1⁄2-inch (5-mm to 1-cm) pieces. Keep cold.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, lightly beat eggs to mix thoroughly. Add eggs all at once; scramble until dry. Remove to a bowl; cool.
  4. Add another 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter to pan. When bubbly, add leeks; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until translucent. Add mushrooms; cook 5 minutes or until most visible moisture is evaporated. Transfer leeks and mushrooms to another bowl; stir in parsley, thyme, salt and pepper.
  5. Add final 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter to pan. Increase temperature to medium-high. When bubbly, add salmon pieces. Moving about frequently with a spatula, briefly sauté salmon until it just loses its raw look and is lightly browned. Immediately turn into a bowl and refrigerate until cool.
  6. Combine cooled rice, eggs, leek mixture and salmon in a large bowl; gently toss to mix.
  7. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo on work surface; brush with butter. Lay another sheet overtop; brush with butter. Finally lay a third sheet overtop, brush with butter. Turn over stacked phyllo; brush with butter. Then cut in half lengthwise; cut each long strip in half crosswise. Set these 4 stacks aside. Repeat steps with remaining 3 phyllo sheets, stacking, buttering, flipping and cutting. In end, there will be 8 rectangular stacks, each 3 sheets thick.
  8. Divide filling evenly; firmly press into a teacup-shaped dome in centre of each phyllo stack. Lifting 2 opposite corners, bring up together above centre. Bring the other 2 corners to meet. Firmly pinch seams into 4 upright pleats; very slightly swirl gathered corners. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment or ungreased foil. Repeat with remaining phyllo and filling.
  9. Brush outsides of phyllo with butter. Lightly but thoroughly cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed, up to a day.
  10. To make relish, grate and firmly squeeze cucumber shreds dry over sink. Place in a bowl; add sour cream, dill and garlic. Stir until well mixed. Taste and add pinches of salt as needed. Cover and refrigerate.
  11. To serve, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  12.  Place uncovered phyllo packages in oven. Bake 25 minutes or until richly golden and filling is hot. Spread a puddle of relish on warmed serving plates. Top with hot phyllo package. Serve immediately; pass any remaining relish.
Serves 6 to 8