2tablespoonsfresh dill, finely chopped (plus extra for garnish)
1teaspoonlemon zest, grated (plus extra for garnish)
6ouncescold-smoked salmon, cut into 1.5 inch strips
1packageMelba Canapé crackers, or Paris-Toast Mini Toasts
Fill a large saucepan with water, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, snap hard ends off of asparagus and discard. Cut remaining portions of stems into 1.5 inch pieces.
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 2-3 minutes, or until bright green and tender. Then use a slotted spoon to move the asparagus out of the boiling water and into the ice water.
Allow asparagus to cool down, then drain thoroughly. Dry the asparagus pieces on a towel, then toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, capers, lemon juice, chopped dill, lemon zest and black pepper. Spread the cream cheese mixture on each toast. Top each toast with a piece of dill (optional).
Wrap a piece of smoked salmon around each piece of asparagus. Place a salmon/asparagus bundle on top of each toast, and garnish with extra lemon zest, black pepper and/or fresh dill fronds. Serve immediately.
If you want all of the canapés to have an asparagus tip (because they're pretty), you'll need to buy 2 bunches of asparagus (about 20 spears). Discard the hard ends, and keep the plain pieces from the middle to make soup or a salad.Food Safety Smoked salmon can spoil very quickly!Only defrost what you need and leave it in the fridge so it stays fresh until you're ready to use it. Be sure to refrigerate unused portions promptly and use within 3 days (or whatever time frame is recommended on the package).Cold-smoked salmon and other cured fish products may not be safe for pregnant women to consume. Please check with your medical team to get more information.Substitutions
If you can't get whipped cream cheese, you can use regular cream cheese. Just make sure to let it come up to room temperature first, so it's easier to work with.
If you can't find cold-smoked salmon, you can also used Nova salmon, lox or gravlax. Do not use hot-smoked salmon (kippered salmon).
If you don't like Melba toast, you can cut out round shapes from any bread and toast them. Rye and pumpernickel are popular choices, or you could just cut a baguette into thin slices and toast those.
Please read the blog post for detailed tips and explanations.