Living Entertaining:

Smoked Salmon Toast With Red Onion and Herbs

Little toasts are one of my favorite nibbles to serve guests, and of all the many varieties I’ve put together over the years, this smoked salmon toast however is the one that gets gobbled with the most ferocity. People go crazy over smoked salmon! Of course, the appeal here goes beyond the fish—there’s also the cooling lemon crème fraîche, the sharp, tangy pickled onion, and the refreshingly crunchy cukes. The elements truly harmonize. On weekends when I suspect I’ll have friends around, I often make the components in advance so these toasts can be assembled in a pinch for an elegant, impromptu brunch.

“The appeal here goes beyond the fish—there’s also the cooling lemon crème fraîche, the sharp, tangy pickled onion, and the refreshingly crunchy cukes. The elements truly harmonize.”

Smoked Salmon Toast With Red Onion and Herbs

Makes 4 Toasts

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE PICKLED ONION:

½cup (120 ml) cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 small red onion, thinly sliced

FOR THE LEMON CRÈME FRAÎCHE:

½cup (120 ml) crème fraîche
1 lemon, grated zest and 1 tablespoon juice
Salt and freshly cracked pepper

FOR THE TOAST:

4 slices good-quality crusty bread,such as whole-wheat sourdough or pumpernickel
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 (4-ounce/115-g) package smoked salmon
2 Persian cucumbers, sliced into ¼-inch-thick (6-mm-thick) rounds
1½tablespoons capers
1 small handful fresh dill, torn
1 small handful fresh mint, torn
Chive blossom flowers
Freshly cracked pepper
Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Make the pickled onion: In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, honey, coriander seeds, and salt to a boil. Place the onions in a nonreactive bowl. Slowly pour the hot liquid over the onions and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use. Stored in a well-sealed container, onions will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Make the lemon crème fraîche: Whisk together the crème fraîche and lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the toast: Preheat the grill over medium-high heat to about 400ºF (250ºC). Lightly drizzle both sides of the bread with oil. Grill until lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Top with the lemon crème fraîche, smoked salmon, cucumbers, capers, and a few pickled red onions.Scatter with fresh herbs, chive blossom flowers, and a few grinds of pepper. Serve with lemon wedges on the side, if desired

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