The winter holiday season means parties with friends, family gatherings, and lots and lots of yummy food! Here’s a simple appetizer that you can throw together in no time flat, the perfect “introduction” to your holiday celebration. These dainty Smoked Salmon Crostini are inspired by my love of bagels, lox, and cream cheese. They capture that awesome lox and cream cheese flavor, lightened up with a bit of Greek yogurt, served on crunchy little crostinis… a delectable bite-sized treat. I use smoked salmon here because I love the flavor, but feel free to use brined lox if you prefer.
Crostini, which translates to “little toasts” in Italian, are small, thin slices of toasted bread, brushed with olive oil. They originated in Italy during the Middle Ages as a peasant food. Those who could not afford expensive ceramic plates would use bread as a substitute (also known as a trencher). Now they are a popular tapas choice all over the world, likely because they can be topped with anything from cheese and roasted veggies, to honey and seasonal fruit… or, in this case, smoked salmon!
I’ve added Greek yogurt to the spread to cut down on fat and calories, while maintaining a creamy flavor. You can top the crostini with fresh dill or capers, or just stick with the smoked salmon to keep things simple. These little treats are packed with flavor, and they’re so easy to make… I can throw together a batch in 20 minutes (even less if I have somebody helping me assemble). These would be a fun opener for a holiday meal or a New Year’s celebration, or anytime you need a quick bite before the “main event.” Love them!
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- 1 thin baguette
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 6 tbsp cream cheese
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill
- 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- 4 oz smoked salmon
- Capers or fresh dill for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the baguette along a diagonal into 1/4 inch slices using a serrated knife. Do not slice them thicker than 1/4 inch, or they will be difficult to bite through when toasted.
- Place the slices on a cookie sheet. Stir together the melted butter and olive oil. If using unsalted butter, add a small pinch of salt to the mixture and stir to combine. If using salted butter, no need to add any additional salt. Brush the tops of the bread pieces with the oil and butter mixture.
- Place the bread into the oven and let it toast for 8-10 minutes till the bottoms of the bread slices are golden brown and toasted. Flip the slices to check for doneness-- they will brown more on the bottom than they will on the top.
- While baguette slices are toasting, place 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, cream cheese, dill, and lemon juice into a food processor. Process for about 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the processor periodically, till ingredients are well combined. Continue to add Greek yogurt till the mixture is soft and spreadable, but not overly liquid. I usually add about 3/4 cup of Greek yogurt, but the consistencies vary from yogurt brand to yogurt brand, so best to add slowly till the texture is right. Add salt to taste and process again to combine.
- Cut the smoked salmon into pieces large enough to top the baguette slices.
- When the baguette slices have cooled, top each slice with 1 tsp of the Greek yogurt mixture. Top the Greek yogurt mixture with a slice of smoked salmon. Place another small dollop of Greek yogurt mixture in the center of the smoked salmon slice. Top the small dollop with a couple of capers...
- or a small sprig of dill.
- Serve Smoked Salmon Crostini as a bite-sized appetizer.
Other Great Recipe Ideas
Sippity Sup: Radish and Herbed Olive-Butter Crostini
Weelicious: Artichoke Cheese Spread
Two Peas & Their Pod: Goat Cheese & Roasted Pepper Crostini
Closet Cooking: Fig and Gorgonzola Crostini with Honey
Steamy Kitchen: Grilled Bruschetta with Asparagus and Parmesan Cheese