These simple but impressive smoked salmon crostini are one of the best crostini recipes. Perfect appetizer for holiday parties and gatherings.
These smoked salmon crostini are easy to make but complex in taste and texture. Dressed up with irresistible toppings, crostini are a perfect appetizer for any occasion!
The best part is you can make everything in advance and put them together right before serving. Or better yet, let your guests assemble their own crostini.
Why you’ll love this appetizer:
Smoked salmon takes any dish from ordinary to elegant. Toasted baguette gets a fancy makeover with herby cream cheese, fresh tomato relish, and thinly sliced smoked salmon.
- One of the best crostini recipes
- Ready-to-eat in 30 minutes
- Can be prepared a day ahead for easy entertaining
Crispy toasted baguette complements the buttery texture of the salmon. Creamy filling infused with capers and dill is soft and doesn’t overpower the delicate salmon flavor. And tomato relish adds freshness to every bite!
Key Ingredient Notes:
- Tomato – Roma tomatoes is ideal for the relish, as it has low water content and meaty flesh.
- Red onion – The spicy and slightly sweet flavor makes the relish absolutely divine.
- Cream cheese – Full-fat cream cheese will give you the creamiest spread, but fat-free cream cheese works too.
- Lemon juice – I’m not a fan of bottled lemon juice, so naturally I recommend freshly squeezed lemon juice. I try to always have lemons on hand. They brighten up any dish!
- Capers – Capers pack a bright and briny punch to the rich cream cheese. They are typically in the condiment aisle with pickles and olives.
- Dill – While fresh dill is preferred, it’s not always available at our local stores. And I’ve used dill paste and freeze-dried dill instead. They work great!! Dill paste is just fresh dill that has been washed, chopped, and packed into a squeezable tube. It’s in the refrigerated section near the produce.
- Baguette – While you can buy pre-sliced crostini from the store, a freshly sliced and toasted baguette will give you the best results.
- Smoked salmon – Wild-caught, cold-smoked salmon is your best buy. It has a silky texture, fresh taste, and it’s packed with nutrients. It’s typically near the fresh seafood in vacuum-sealed packs.
How to prepare this brunch spread:
There are three quick elements to this smoked salmon appetizer. Each one complements the smooth and smoky flavor of the salmon.
1. Make the tomato relish
Combine the tomatoes, red onions, salt, and pepper. Let it sit and marinate for at least 15 minutes, or up to 1 day in advance.
2. Make the cream cheese spread
Stir together the cream cheese, lemon juice, capers, and dill.
Let the cream cheese soften first, or it will be tricky to stir!
3. Toast the baguette slices
Thinly slice a crusty baguette and drizzle each slice with olive oil. The olive oil encourages the bread to crisp and caramelize.
Heat a large skillet on medium and toast both sides of the bread in the pan until golden brown.
Alternatively, you can toast the crostini in an oven! Place the bread slices on a sheet pan and drizzle with oil. Bake at 400°F until lightly golden and crisp.
A serrated bread knife works best to cut your bread into thin slices.
Right before serving, spread the cream cheese filling onto the toasts, then top with the tomato relish and smoked salmon.
Alternatively, arrange all the components on a large serving platter and let your guests assemble their crostini.
- The toasts, tomato relish, and cream cheese filling can be made a day in advance. Store the cream cheese filling and relish in the fridge and the toasted bread in an airtight container.
- Wait until the bread is room temperature before transferring to an airtight container. Otherwise, the heat from the bread will create condensation and make it soggy.
- Assemble the crostini right before serving, or lay everything on a platter for your guests to assemble it themselves.
- While the individual elements can be made ahead of time, it’s best to assemble them right before you plan to enjoy them. Otherwise, crostini will get soggy and you won’t have that satisfying crunch.
- If you have leftover crostini, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
More crostini recipes ideas:
Crostini can be topped with whatever you like! Here are a few delicious combinations to try.
- Caprese – Top toasted baguette slices with fresh mozzarella and sliced tomato. Bake until the cheese is warm and melty then top with basil and balsamic glaze.
- Goat cheese & honey – Spread goat cheese onto the crostini and top with fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey.
- Hummus & sundried tomato – Spread hummus onto the toasted bread then top with chopped sundried tomatoes and feta cheese.
- Pesto – Spread pesto onto the toasted baguette then add a slice of mozzarella.
They are basically small slices of bread, typically baguette, toasted with some olive oil and topped with different veggies, meats, or whatever your heart desires.
Actually, topping is optional! Seasoned with simple salt and pepper, plain crostini are just as good. Basically, crostini = small Italian toasts.
Bruschetta is also a toast, but bigger in size. Think rustic Italian bread, sliced into large toasts.
Crostini, on other hand, are made of small, thin slices of fine-textured bread, like a baguette.
Bruschetta is often topped with fresh tomatoes and herbs.
Smoked Salmon Crostini
For tomato relish:
- 2 medium tomato chopped Note 1
- ½ red onion finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
For cream cheese spread:
- 8 oz (230g) cream cheese softened
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon capers finely minced Note 2
- 1 teaspoon dill Note 3
- 1 white baguette Note 4
- Olive oil
- 10 oz (300g) cold-smoked salmon Note 5
- To make tomato relish, in a medium bowl, mix together chopped tomatoes, chopped red onion, salt and pepper. Let stand for at least 15 minutes to marinate.
- To make filling, in a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, lemon juice, capers and dill paste and mix until well combined.
- To prepare the toasts, slice the baguette into thin slices and drizzle with olive oil.
- Warm up a large skillet and toast the bread slices on each side until nice and toasty, about 2 minutes on each side.
- To assemble, spread the cream cheese filling on toasts, and then top with tomato relish and smoked salmon. OR you can serve toasts, tomato relish, cream cheese filling and smoked salmon separately on a platter.
Tips & Notes:
– You can make toasts, tomato relish and cream cheese filling a day in advance.
– Store the cream cheese filling and relish in the fridge. Toasted bread will keep well in an air tight container. Storing Tips:
– While the individual elements can be made ahead of time, it’s best to assemble them right before you plan to enjoy them.
– If you have leftover crostini, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
This recipe was originally published on October 13th, 2014.