These pretty little smoked salmon canapés make a great appetizer for a spring party or Sunday brunch.
We’re getting a little bit fancy today!
Fresh asparagus is in season, and I wanted to come up with a little bite that would really show off this fresh spring produce. When I think of asaparagus, I think of brunch and Benedicts and all of those yummy treats that we tend not to eat throughout the rest of the day.
Eggs wouldn’t have really worked on this appetizer, but smoked salmon made total sense! The result of my experimenting is these smoked salmon canapés, which look fancy but are honestly so easy to throw together.
My smoked salmon canapés are based off a smoked salmon tea sandwich that I made a few years ago. I really like the combination of cream cheese, capers, dill and lemon juice to cut through the strong flavour of the salmon. I know the lemon zest looks like a lot (you can grate it instead of making strips), but I found that the strong lemon flavour really help cut through the heaviness of these canapés. Plus, it looks pretty!
If you want to make these smoked salmon canapés for a party, you can do some of the prep work ahead of time. You can blanch the asparagus by boiling them for a couple of minutes, then placing them in ice water to stop the cooking process and lock in the colour. Be careful not to overcook the asparagus, or it will lose its fresh green flavour and colour.
You can also zest the lemon, cut the smoked salmon into bite-sized pieces, and mix the cream cheese spread ahead of time. Keep everything in the fridge until you’re ready, and then assemble the canapés on the serving dish that you’re going to use. These little guys don’t like to be moved around too much, so assemble them right before serving, and set them down for your guests to enjoy.
Smoked Salmon Canapés with Asparagus
- 1 cup cream cheese , softened
- ¼ cup capers , finely chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp dill , finely chopped
- 1 bunch asparagus , about 10 spears, ends trimmed
- 6 oz smoked salmon , (1 large package)
- 1 package Paris-Toast Mini Toasts (36 pack) , or Melba Canapé crackers
- 1 tsp lemon zest , grated or in strips
- black pepper , to taste
- Fill a large saucepan with water, add 1 tsp of salt, and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the cream cheese, capers, lemon juice and dill. Set aside for later.
- Add ice to a large bowl of cold water, and place it next to your stove. You will need this to blanch the asparagus.
- Add the asparagus to the boiling water. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until bright green and tender.
- Use tongs to take the asparagus out of the boiling water and into the bowl of ice water. The asparagus will take about a minute to cool down, and then you can drain them. Once they are cool enough to handle, cut each spear into bite-sized pieces (2-3 pieces per asparagus spear) and set aside.
- Find the serving tray or dish that you want to use, you will be assembling the canapés directly onto this dish.
- Set out the toasts, and spread some of the cream cheese mixture on each one. Next, wrap a piece of smoked salmon around each piece of asparagus. I just ripped the smoked salmon with my fingers, it doesn't have to be neat.
- Place each salmon/asparagus bundle on top of the toasts, and top with the lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately.
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