Apple Horseradish Sauce (for Smoked Salmon or Beet Macarons)

Healthy apple horseradish sauce, good with smoked salmon and cold meats like roast beef or pork. Low in calories with mainly grated apple.

Serve a little directly on the salmon and the rest at the table inside the scooped out apple. For an extra fun wow factor, this is good with mini beetroot and horseradish savoury macarons.

sauce boat of light creamy sauce next to a filled green apple, served with smoked salmon

Holiday Starters

This has to be one of my all-time favourite starters over the holiday season. It’s incredibly quick to prepare in advance – as long as you have a jar of horseradish sauce in the cupboard. It sounds like a no-brainer, but this popular condiment is  actually not as easy to find in France as it is in the UK and America. These days, it’s easier to find it in the international food aisles at the supermarket.

Feeling patriotic, Scottish smoked salmon is definitely on my menu for starters. My favourite is Salar Hot Smoked Salmon from the Outer Hebrides in North-West Scotland. However, use any good quality wild smoked salmon.

fresh horseradish at the French market

What is in Horseradish Sauce?

Ready prepared horseradish sauce is a condiment that contains grated horseradish, which is a spicy root from the mustard family. Known in France as ‘raifort‘, it’s rare to find it at the French market but, when there is some, they always come from Germany. Usually the commercial sauce has added vinegar and salt to the horseradish.

So, provided you can get horseradish root, you can actually make your own by simply grating it and adding vinegar and salt. As it’s too difficult to find, we tend to buy the commercial version.

smoked salmon steak with a mini purple macaron

What Does Horseradish Sauce Go With?

If you’re like me, horseradish sauce is an excellent kitchen cupboard necessity – especially during the holiday season. If it’s served straight, the taste is instantly hot and spicy. You can tell it’s from the mustard family as it has a fiery kick!

Normally, in Britain, it’s traditionally served directly from the pot with roast beef – even with leftovers served in sandwiches with horseradish sauce. It’s also great with cold meat cuts such as pork and cured hams.

However, we love to serve horseradish sauce with smoked salmon and tame the spice down a bit. So we add apple, lemon juice and half fat crème frâiche. The horseradish just adds that intriguing kick, which is so good with Scottish smoked salmon (or hot smoked, Salar).

As horseradish also goes so well with beetroot, add a little to the dish too. Why not add a little horseradish to this Corsican charcuterie ‘Terre et Mer’ plate?

terre mer salad

Simple Horseradish and Apple Sauce

I got this recipe from the back of a packed Salar smoked salmon – as it’s perfect to go with it. The tart apple makes this sauce so deliciously light as most of it is just grated apple.

I insist on using a tart apple, as the acidity is perfect.  Any sweet type of apple will not taste the same!

See more on the market produce page for apples and beetroot/beet

At first guests think it’s pure cream looking at the colour, but on tasting they dollop on more when they realise it’s mainly apple with half fat crème fraîche tossed in as an afterthought! As you can see from the calorie count, it’s low and healthy too. Serve a little on serving plates and provide extra sauce on the table.

scooped out green apple filled with creamy sauce

scoop out the apple, grate the contents and mix with the other ingredients to make apple and horseradish sauce and serve at the table in the apple

bowl of creamy sauce next to smoked salmon

For that extra special and fun touch, this goes famously with a beetroot and horseradish macaron (see mini macs savoury macarons on p.103 of Mad About Macarons.) Otherwise serve with a little beetroot/beet on the side.

green apple filled with a horseradish sauce next to a sauce boat served with smoked salmon

sauce boat of light creamy sauce next to a filled green apple, served with smoked salmon

Apple and Horseradish Sauce

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time10 mins
Chilling Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course : Appetizer, Light Lunch, Party Food, Amuse-bouche
Cuisine : British
Keyword : sauce for smoked salmon, recipes with horseradish
Servings : 6 people
Calories : 88kcal


Healthy apple horseradish sauce, good with smoked salmon and cold meats like roast beef or pork. Low in calories with mainly grated apple.


  • 1 tart apple organic (e.g. Granny Smith, Braeburn)
  • 1-2 tbsp cream of horseradish sauce according to taste
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 tbsp dill chopped
  • 120 ml (4oz) small tub low fat crème fraîche 15% fat
  • 1 beetroot (or radishes/lamb's lettuce) finely sliced, to serve


  • Grate the apple then quickly add the lemon juice so that it won’t turn brown.
  • Mix in the other ingredients and season to taste.


Serve chilled with smoked salmon or cold hot-smoked salmon with sliced beetroot or radishes. Also good with cold meats such as roast beef and pork.
For a dinner party, serve any extra sauce on the table served inside a scooped-out apple with a wedge of lemon.
Variations: replace the horseradish sauce with 1 teaspoon of wasabi.

This recipe post was first published 26 December 2011 but has now been completely updated.

From the market

From the kitchen

29 responses to “Apple Horseradish Sauce (for Smoked Salmon or Beet Macarons)”

  1. That horseradish and apple sauce looks amazing! I am keeping this in mind for the next time I serve salmon.

  2. The macarons have such magnificent color! And your appetizer is certainly perfect for any party, lovely 🙂

  3. I am thinking of having this for breakfast. So clever with the tart apple. Salmon suits my post-holiday cravings.

  4. i adore anything horseradish, and the combination with apple sounds wonderfully refreshing. Well done!

  5. Of course, my eye swept right to the savory macarons. This is amazing!

  6. I’ve fallen asleep or wished I had(lol) at many a prolonged French lunch, the kind that starts around noon and ends at 5pm, time to go home and get ready for dinner that starts around 7 and ends after midnight..on and on in to the wee hours of the night, got to love those french party people!!!!!
    thank goodness for the dancing and singing, something to get the blood moving again!
    I love your very creative beet horseradish macarons and would love to try one. The colors are stunning and the horseradish apple sauce is making me hungry, also love it with the salmon, looks good in your collage.

  7. Happy Holidays, Jill!! I’m excited to read about your Parisian New Year as my neighbors are visiting your beautiful city now. They have been sending the most beautiful photos, though I haven’t received any for a few days. I know they have plans of dinner near the Eiffel tower and promise more photos of that special evening!
    So happy you had a wonderful holiday. Going home always warms the heart.
    With my mother being a horseradish fan, this recipe would be one she would really enjoy. I’ve got it printed and will have to see what I can do for her soon!!
    Happy New Year!!!
    PS… Love the collage!!!

  8. The sauce sounds fabulous, but the macarons must be extraordinary! I love both horseradish and beetroots, so I’m sure I would love both.
    Sadly, all the horseradish creams I find here are simply not hot at all and the fresh horseradish is so rare…
    I have just started to imagine your neighbours’ reaction if you played bagpipes 😉

    • Have to admit, I love this combo and like you, find the good, hot, horseradish creams difficult to come by. However, we’re lucky at the farmers’ markets here since they sell these odd-looking fresh horseradishes (raifort) which are imported from Germany!

  9. I adore smoked salmon of all varieties, I would love to try this one from Scotland.

  10. This is phenomenal! I never would have thought of beetroot and horseradish macarons!! You always delight my palate with your creations, I can just dream up the flavours of this awesome macaron against the smoked salmon! Sounds very delightful. I will be giving it a try and will let you know how it goes 🙂
    By the way, your pics are gorgeous, I could almost taste that salmon!

  11. I would like to make a collage too
    Please send ingredients…or rather components
    Merci indeed 🙂

    • Carol, it’s all just in Picasa. Select your photos that you wish to place into the collage by pinning them with the pin button, then just hit the collage button above it (I didn’t notice it at first since it was so small but hover your mouse above it and it will tell you what it is.) Then you can choose how you want your collage to be presented. It just walks you through it! Hope this makes sense…

  12. Great post as always. You had me on the beetroot and horseradish macs. This is such a great combination, would love to try it in one of your macaroons. Glad you had a good Christmas and very much hope you have a good Hogmanay and manage to stay awake for dessert!

    • Thanks, Choclette. Cheers to many more of your incredible chocolatey creations and a very Happy 2012 to you!

  13. Heh. You crack me up. ‘Dead-beet.’ That’s MY kind of humor!

    Gorgeous salmon recipe, and my mind is a blowing up a little with the savory macaron pairing. I fear there would be massive overeating if I were there. But the, that’s what the holidays are for 🙂

  14. How unusual. Proving once again, you can do just about anything with macarons. Happy New year!

    • Gutes Neues Yahr, Lohr. Wishing you all the best for 2012 with all of your amazing, rocking creativity!

  15. All of this comes together so well! I love smoked salmon and the sauce is a divine topper-yum! Also, it would not be the same without one of your signature macarons, great post Jill! I hope you are enjoying the holiday with family and friends.

    • Thanks, Tina. Yes, it was wonderful and all too short as already back at work and eldest sick but being together with close family and the ones you love is worth everything, eh? All the best for a fabulous year of baking ahead, Tina!

  16. such a wonderfully written post Jill. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you sista. isn this a wonderful season for the old and new and salmon stuffed suitcases at Ryanair ;p

    keep well.

    • Salmon-stuffed suitcases? Here’s to more of your infectious humour in 2012, Thoma!

  17. Oh, what a delicious starter, Jill! I imagine it’s even better is you get some of that fine Scottish salmon 🙂 I hope you had a very merry Christmas…and wishing you nothing but blessings in 2012!

    • Now I wonder if we could do something with your Frangelico cocktail? Cheers to your good health, Liz!

  18. Beet horseradish macaroons are something I would love to try! I eat beets almost every day, and I cannot resist the kick of horseradish! The apple and salmon sound lovely as well, and were I not a vegetarian I would be all over them ;)! Hope you had a wonderful Holiday weekend Jill :)!

    • Nearly every day? Gosh, that takes some ‘beeting’, Amy! Hope you’re having a wonderful time, too. Now my daughter has a racking cough so plenty of TLC and spice needed!

  19. It’s better than I can do at this point so I think it looks terrific!

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