Are you ready for spring? I know it’s only February, but I can’t wait for the sun to start warming up my patio and defrost my bones! I’ve already got the patio furniture lined up, and the rosé is in the fridge, so I thought I might just give it another notch with this savory zesty smoked salmon appetizer, or lunch if you like.
Maybe it’s because I’m Scandinavian, but I could easily eat smoked salmon every day. It’s no secret that Scandinavians have had a particular liking for raw and raw cured fish since the Vikings, and some even claim that it was the Norwegians who introduced raw salmon sushi to the Japanese!
This zesty smoked salmon recipe also includes other great flavors from the classic Scandinavian kitchen. The combination of honey, mustard and dill makes this a first cousin of gravlax (or ‘graved laks’ in Danish), and the red onions and capers are often used toppings on ‘smørrebrød’ (Danish open sandwiches).
And while I would personally prefer to enjoy this yummy treat with a nice glass of rosé, I do have family members who think this would make a perfect schnapps pairing! What a wonderful excuse to try both and see what you like best? (And why not? We once went to a wedding in Sweden where they served champagne alongside schnapps before dinner. What can I say? It seemed to work perfectly well…)
Smoked salmon with mustard, honey, red onion, capers, dill and lemon (serves 2 for lunch, 4 as an appetizer)
9 oz (250 g) smoked salmon
1 1/2 tbsp yellow mustard (I find Dijon is too overpowering)
1 tsp clear honey
11/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 small red onion very finely chopped
2 tbsp capers, chopped
2-3 sprigs of fresh dill (about 2 tablespoon chopped, and a few small sprigs for decoration if you like)
1/2 organic lemon, zest only
Black freshly ground pepper to taste
Italian bread or toasted rye bread
1. Break or cut up the smoked salmon into bite sizes. (Don’t chop it, as it will get too mushy then.)
2. In a bowl mix the mustard and honey. Add the salmon, the chopped red onion, capers, lemon zest and dill and mix gently together using a spoon or your fingers.
3. Pour the olive oil into the mix and turn a few times with spoon or fingers. Season with black pepper.
4. If you’ve decided to use rye bread, toast 4 large or 8 small slices. If you use Italian bread, cut 4 large or 8 small slices. Arrange the salmon mix on the bread and garnish with a little fresh dill and maybe a little extra drizzle of olive oil if it’s one of those days where you just feel like it.
Tip: planning to use this as a smoked salmon appetizer or starter, but want to add a couple of other little nibbles? Here are a few of our other great recipes that are sure to get you into spring mood:
Little heavenly ricotta bites (tasty ricotta cream crostini – super easy to make!)
The lox and the fennel (lemon marinated fennel salad on lox – if you want to get a salmon theme going)