Every Jewish girl should have a good recipe for a smoked salmon appetizer. I’m not Jewish, but I’ve wanted to be since I was six (that’s a long story for another day), so I felt the need for a smoked salmon appetizer of my own to add into my repertiore.
Last December’s issue of Bon Appetit included a fantastic recipe that served as a great starting point. Not only do the crunchy endive spears make a perfect container for the salty salmon and the tangy and spice horseradish cream, they also provide a lower carb option for what is often a bread heavy cocktail table.
With only a few adaptions, I’d stumbled upon the perfect smoked salmon recipe. If only this perfect recipe came with instructions for meeting the perfect Jewish boy.
- 40 Belgian endive spears
- 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (room temperature)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, reserve extra sprigs for garnish
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish
- 1/2 pound of smoked salmon, sliced into 1 x 3 inch pieces
- Pickled red onion *see notes*
- 2 tablespoons drained capers (between 80 – 120 capers)
- Place the separated endive leaves in a bowl of ice water until almost ready to serve.
- Mix cream cheese, chopped dill, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, and horseradish in food processor.
- Season with salt and pepper. Taste and add more lemon juice/zest or horseradish based on your preferences.
- Remove endive from ice water and thoroughly dry leaves.
- Roll the salmon slice lengthwise and place in the endive leaf.
- Spoon cream into a gallon size ziploc bag and cut a 1/2 inch off the corner. Pipe a 1/2 teaspoon dollop of horseradish cream on the end of each endive spear.
- Sprinkle with onion and capers and top with dill sprigs.
Notes: You could use prepared white horseradish for this recipe. If you are grating fresh horseradish, I think it’s easiest to use the food processor.
Soaking the endive in the ice water is an important step as it prevents it from becoming limp or discolored. It also removes some of the bitterness, though I can’t explain why. I’ve made a habit of soaking endive before I use it for anything.
You could certainly use chopped red onions instead or even omit the onion all together. But if you’re feeling adventurous, here’s a great recipe for a quick pickled onion:
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large pinch of salt
- 1 small, dried chile pepper
- 1 large red onion, peeled, and thinly sliced into rings
- In a small, non-reactive saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar, salt, and chili pepper until boiling.
- Add the onion slices and lower heat, then simmer gently for 30 seconds.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Transfer the onions and the liquid into a jar and refrigerate.
What you’ll need: A food processor or blender.
What you want to know: Two appetizers is 52 calories, 2.4 grams of fat, 4 grams protein, 4 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber and 1 Weight Watcher Point.