Appetizers

Smoked Salmon Ceviche Crostini

Smoked Salmon 'Ceviche' Crostini

To say I am a big fan of crostini is a major understatement. If I’m asked to bring an appetizer to a party, 80-90% of the time, I’ll be bringing crostini or some variation of.  A quick search of our archives made me realize that I really haven’t posted many of my go-to crostini recipes. In fact, the only one I found was my Shrimp & Goat Cheese Crostini. I have failed you. I’m going to make it up to you, starting now with this Smoked Salmon Ceviche Crostini. It’s SO simple, and can be thrown together in minutes.

I’ve gotten in the habit of keeping both smoked salmon and prosciutto in the fridge. They keep for a decent length of time (if unopened) and always seem to yield impressive-looking appetizers.  I’ll also usually have a loaf or two of those take-and-bake baguettes in the freezer. They are a great size and amount to just the right number of crostini for my typical-sized gathering. And of course, I always have a good variety of cheese on hand because, well,  I really like cheese. Those few things, with whatever other random ingredients I have on hand, will almost always make for a tasty crostini recipe.

So here’s one of my favorite crostini recipes…and probably the easiest. More crostini recipes to come!

Smoked Salmon Ceviche Crostini

Smoked Salmon 'Ceviche' Crostini





Ingredients


1 medium baguette
Olive oil, for brushing baguette slices
Kosher salt
1 8 oz. package of smoked salmon, cut into thin strips or diced
1  tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp finely chopped chives (fresh)
1/3 cup creme fraiche

Directions

Slice baguette into 1/4 inch-1/2 inch slices on a diagonal. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle some kosher salt on top and set aside.

Chop smoked salmon and toss in bowl with lemon juice. Add chives and toss to incorporate.

Broil crostini at 450 for just a couple of minutes. Keep a close eye as they will go from perfect to burnt in seconds!

At this point, you can either put the smoked salmon ceviche in a serving bowl and let your guests assemble their own crostini, or you can assemble them yourself for serving.

To assemble, top crostini with a spoonful of the smoked salmon ceviche and a small dollop of creme fraiche. Top with additional chives for garnish.

Enjoy!!

Smoked Salmon 'Ceviche' Crostini

 

Strawberry Soup with Balsamic Reduction & Creme Fraiche

Cold Strawberry Balsamic Soup with Creme Fraiche

For my husband’s birthday, we stayed over at the Ballantyne Resort here in Charlotte for a mini-getaway. We did the spa thing in the afternoon, and then treated ourselves to too many cocktails and an amazing meal at The Gallery (the restaurant onsite). It was the perfect way to celebrate.

Before our meal came, the chef sent out a small cup of strawberry and balsamic soup topped with goat cheese as an amuse-bouche. I would have never thought of using strawberries in a soup, let alone serving it prior to dinner, but it totally worked. It served as a palate cleanser as well and was such an unexpected but pleasant surprise. I made a mental note to try to replicate it at home.

What I love about this recipe is that it triples as a soup course, an amuse-bouche AND a palate cleanser. It’s light and small in serving size, so it doesn’t interfere with anything else you may have planned for your menu. It’s super easy and takes advantage of strawberries which will be at their peak very shortly!! Here’s the recipe.

Strawberry Soup with Balsamic Reduction & Creme Fraiche

Serves 6-8 as a small starter

 

Cold Strawberry Balsamic Soup with Creme Fraiche

Ingredients
4 1/2 cups of strawberries, washed and hulled
2 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp chopped mint
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp creme fraiche (or goat cheese, depending on the tastes of your guests…mine can be picky)

Balsamic Reduction
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions

Place strawberries and water in blender and blend until pureed.

Transfer strawberries to a fine sieved colander and strain out seeds.

Rinse blender and return seedless pureed strawberries to blender. Add mint, sugar, and lemon and blend until smooth.

Chill soup in fridge until ready to serve (this part can be made up to a day in advance).

While the soup chills, reduce the balsamic vinegar. Simply pour vinegar into small sauce pan and heat over low to medium heat until liquid is reduced by half. Cool.

When ready to serve, pour soup into small cups (or even shot glasses). Top with a small dollop of creme fraiche (around 1 tsp), and drizzle top with balsamic reduction. Serve and enjoy!

Cold Strawberry Balsamic Soup with Creme Fraiche