Meditations

Super-Duper Smoked Salmon Canapes


Who would ever think you might tire of a freezer full of smoked salmon? Um, well, it’s started to happen, friends. Crackers and smoked salmon, fusilli with smoked salmon cream, more crackers and smoked salmon, and then there’s always crackers and smoked salmon. Delicious, no? Well, yes, but my lack of imagination has kept these noble fish from being all they can be.

So I was rifling through Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home, looking for ideas for dinner last night, and spotted a recipe for piperade. Mr. Pepin pairs it with an omelette, in the traditional Basque way, but David Hawksworth at West recently paired it with salmon as a main course, so I thought, why not stick with something I know – crackers and salmon – but take it to a new level for the folks we’re having over for dinner? I adapted the piperade recipe by adding some extra olive oil while sauteeing the onions and peppers, and by giving it a shot of champagne vinegar, lemon juice, and a handful of capers to better accompany the salmon. The recipe follows.

Smoked Salmon Canapes With Piperade

3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups sliced onion
2 1/2 cups sliced sweet bell peppers (red, orange, yellow)
1/2 cup tomato concasse
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. champagne vinegar
1 tbs. capers
squeeze of lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Warm the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion until it becomes translucent. Add the peppers, tomato concasse, garlic and salt and pepper, and saute until the peppers soften. Remove from heat, and add capers, vinegar and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Let cool at room temperature, and serve on crostini with slabs of smoked salmon.

Enjoy!

P.S. We didn’t have any on hand, but these would be even more tasty with some creme fraiche to top the salmon with (good call Mark!). We did have some Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava on hand, however, and the combination was magic – a great way to start a meal.

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