Sometimes, you want your appetizers to say to your guests, “I am a fancy pants who makes fancy foods because I am fancy.”
However, since my pre-party time is generally taken up by sweeping up dog hair and cleaning where the cat spit up on the carpet (even though I swear we were using the anti-hairball treats), I don’t have the time that “fancy” generally takes.
That is why I use my secret weapon: smoked salmon crostini – crunchy bread slices topped with dill cream cheese, a tomato/onion relish and an elegant piece of smoked salmon on the very top.
Absolutely delicious, low effort, and visually amazing.
So, here’s what you’ll need: smoked salmon, a sliced baguette, cream cheese, dill, lemon juice, thyme, olive oil, red onion, a red tomato, salt, and pepper.
So, we start with making the tomato relish.
Chop up a quarter of the red onion and the whole tomato, then toss it all in a bowl.
Toss in a quarter-teaspoon each of salt and pepper, give it a quick stir, and that’s it.
Set the bowl aside and don’t mess with it while you do the rest.
Now, the longest part: the bread.
I’m lucky that my local Kroger’s usually sells baguettes pre-cut into quarter-inch-thick slices. However, today, they were out, but no worries. We will just slice our own.
Pro tip: cut slices at an angle – diagonals are fancy.
Once you have slices, take a cooking brush and spread some olive oil on both sides of each slice. From there, you can either thrown them in the oven on lower heat or just put them on a skillet on top of the stove.
Flip them over when they get nice and toasty brown on the bottom.
Either way, keep the heat medium at the highest. You’re trying to get these things really crunchy, and high heat makes a crust on top of chewy bread inside.
Meanwhile, throw an 8 ounce pack of cream cheese in a bowl and microwave it for 30 seconds to soften it.
Add in a teaspoon of dill, a teaspoon of thyme, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and mix it up.
Last up is the salmon.
Slice the salmon into pieces about an inch and a half wide and between two and three inches long.
Finally, it’s time to assemble. Each crostini gets four parts: bread, cream cheese mix, tomato relish, and salmon. Here’s the best way to put them together.
First, the bread.
Schmear that with some cream cheese.
Spoon on some relish.
Top with the salmon.
Final pro tip: If you are putting these appetizers together yourself rather than letting your guests assemble their own, make sure that you put an odd number on each plate. Odd numbers are more visually interesting.
Ready To Go
Bam. Instant fancy. This makes a visually fascinating, tasty appetizer, and if you didn’t go rogue and try to put relish on the top or something you can eat it with one hand without spilling it all over yourself.
Plus, it only took you, what, 20 minutes? That leaves you plenty of time to take a deep breath, grab a drink, and daggonit cat what did you eat?!
Recipe: Smoked Salmon Crostini
Prep Time: 20 minutes, Cook time: None
- 1 regular red tomato, chopped
- 1/4 of a red onion, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 10-ounce package smoked salmon
- 1 baguette, cut into quarter-inch slices
- 1 8-ounce pack of cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon dill
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- Some olive oil
- Chop up tomato (1 whole red, remember to wash it first) and quarter of a red onion (peeled), then mix pieces in a bowl with salt (1/4 teaspoon) and pepper (1/4 teaspoon). Set aside for at least 15 minutes.
- Brush bread slices with olive oil, then either bake or pan-fry on medium until nice and toasted. Flip halfway through for even toasting.
- Soften cream cheese (8 ounces, one package) for 30 seconds in microwave, then add dill (1 teaspoon), thyme (1 teaspoon), and lemon juice (2 tablespoons). Mix.
- Tear or cut smoked salmon (10 ounce package) into pieces.
- Assemble each crostini in this order from bottom to top: bread, cream cheese mix, tomato relish, then smoked salmon.