I am buried in a myriad of projects right now and am rushing to complete them as the days grow shorter. I know it’s not technically autumn yet, but once Labor Day has passed us by and NFL games are officially part of my Sunday routine again, I have to admit defeat and call another summer over. I get a bit depressed this time of year because I truly, truly despise the snow and cold. Mostly what I hate though are the short days, when it’s dark when I wake up and dark again before I leave work.
Tending to the last of my vegetable garden is always a bit sad, too, as the wilted squash plant is pulled, the tomato, eggplant, bean, and pepper plants begin their decline and the last of the fennel and kohlrabi are pulled from the earth. Cucumber plants are wilting too, after a bountiful summer which seemed overwhelming at times. Dill, which I planted (intentionally) a few years ago, now shows up every year, much to my husband’s dismay. It’s really not too bothersome though – easy to identify and pull up before it goes to seed again, but I love having it on hand for pickles and such.
One of the ways we enjoyed our fresh cukes this summer was these incredibly easy salmon cucumber appetizers. My husband was the inspiration for these (have I mentioned how much I love that he loves such a variety of food?) and they work perfectly as both an easy appetizer and a light lunch or dinner. I”m sure there are probably thousands of similar recipes out there for these so please customize them however you wish.
This isn’t really a “recipe”, as I’m only going to give you the ingredients – the quantities and portion are really up to you, depending on what you have on hand and what the occasion is.
salmon and cucumber bites
- Cream cheese, softened
- Small capers, at room temperature
- Cucumber, at room temperature
- Red onion, thinly sliced
- Smoked salmon
- Fresh dill weed
To make the assembly of these as easy as possible, have the cream cheese, capers and cucumbers ar room temperature. If any or all of them are cold, it makes working with them very difficult, as they’ll chill the cream cheese and make it seize up and stiffen. If needed, you can chill these once you’ve assembled them.
- First, mix together some of the softened cream cheese and capers in a small dish. I like mine heavy on the capers but don’t go too crazy – you don’t want to overpower the salmon.
- I like to peel my cucumbers leaving small stripes of its dark skin on – I just love the way it looks, plus taking away some of the skin reduces the bitterness of the cucumbers. Slice the cucumber into 1/4 inch slices and arrange on a serving platter.
- Using a small spoon, scoop just a small bit of the cream cheese and caper mixture onto each cucumber slice.
- Add a bit of thinly sliced red onion, using it to flatten the cream cheese mixture a bit.
- Top with smoked salmon and finish each appetizer with a tiny sprig of fresh dill weed.
- Try not to inhale them all at once.
Beautiful and, of course, the salmon is heart-healthy, so you can’t feel too guilty for indulging.
For me, a 5 oz. package of smoked salmon, 1/3 of a brick of cream cheese and 1-2 cucumbers are about enough for 16-18 bites or so.
You now have an easy appetizer to add to your holiday menu or, if you’re like me, to just enjoy on a late summer day.