An easy and elegant appetizer for the holiday season.
- Aquavit-Cured Salmon:
- 1 pound salmon, in two pieces
- 2 tablespoons salt
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
- 2 tablespoons aquavit (or vodka)
- 1 bunch dill, coarsely chopped, divided
- Shallot-Caper Relish:
- 1/2 cup finely diced shallot or red onion
- 1/4 cup drained capers
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- Pumpernickel Toasts:
- 12 thin slices Danish-style pumpernickel bread, lightly toasted
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup (3 ounces) sour cream or crème fraiche
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
Set salmon fillets skin-side down on a plate. In a small bowl, combine salt, brown sugar, and caraway and press onto flesh-side of salmon. Sprinkle on aquavit and top with dill. (Reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons of the dill for relish.) Sandwich the salmon fillets together, skin-side out. Wrap plate very tightly with plastic, cover with a heavy weight, and refrigerate for at least 24 or up to 48 hours. Remove dill, pat dry, and thinly slice on an angle.
Make the Relish
In a small bowl, combine the diced shallot, drained capers, lemon juice, mustard seeds, and reserved dill.
In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, and chives and spread onto the toast. Cut each pumpernickel toast into four rectangles. Top toasts with the salmon and garnish with a small spoonful of the relish.
Know Your Cook
- Grace Parisi -
Grace Parisi is a cook, writer and cookbook author. Formerly the Senior Test Kitchen Editor at Food & Wine Magazine and Executive Food Director at TimeInc Books, her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Health, O Magazine, Epicurious, Fitness, Today, Serious Eats, Martha Stewart, and many more. She’s the author of more than 6 books, among them The Portlandia Cookbook and Get Saucy, which was nominated for a James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook.