This festive crostini is topped with pickled cucumbers and thin slices of cured salmon after being covered with a lemon, caper, chive, and dill cream cheese spread.
This appetizer’s base is a crostini made from thinly sliced, toasted bread. The toppings are layers of delectable pickled cucumbers, cured salmon, and zesty cream cheese. A crowd-pleasing hors d’oeuvre is made of salty fish, silky cheese, spicy cucumbers, and crisp bread.
The spread, pickles, and toasts can all be prepared several days in advance for rapid assembling while you enjoy your visitors. They disappear quickly, so I always keep a few for myself.
What are Crostini?
Thinly sliced toasted bread is used to make the versatile Italian dish known as crostini. You can top it with whatever you can think of, whether it’s savoury, sweet, or both. It is intended to be consumed before the main course in a few filling bites.
I like to use slim baguettes because they bake up lovely and crisp and are strong enough to support the weight of the toppings. Slice them in half, then drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top to add flavour.
The oil serves as a barrier to stop the toppings from making the bread soggy. It only takes ten minutes to bake them until they are softly golden brown.
Pickle the Cucumbers
Making fast pickles is one of the most popular methods to instantly add crunch and tanginess to any dish. Red wine vinegar and honey are all that are required. 2 parts vinegar to 1 part sweetness is the recommended ratio.
The advantage of this concentrated brine is that it softens and flavor-infuses the thinly sliced cucumbers in just 15 minutes. I enjoy preparing a sizable quantity to use as a flavorful topping on tacos, hamburgers, and sandwiches.
The Cream Cheese Spread
You could serve the cream cheese plain, but I prefer to flavour it with lemon zest and juice, chopped capers to go with the rich slices of fish, chives for their delicate onion flavour, and dill for its grassy undertone to bring out the flavour of the smoky seafood.
Just before serving, assemble the crostini. On the bread, apply a thin layer of the cream cheese spread. Add two or three slices of the pickled cucumbers on top of the cream cheese after thoroughly draining them. To give it height, I like to roll up a little piece of smoked salmon before placing it on top.
Dill and freshly cracked black pepper create a lovely garnish.
Five days in advance, the baguette slices can be baked. They should be kept at room temperature in an airtight container. They might also be frozen for up to a month in a sealable plastic bag. Before assembling them, let them acclimate to ambient temperature.
Up to two hours in advance, assembled crostini can be prepared, covered, and stored in the fridge. Don’t keep them in the refrigerator for too long because the moisture will cause the toast to soften.