I’ve always eaten smoked salmon. My dads special smoked salmon. When the Spring (a type of salmon) were rolling in our small town’s rivers, and fishing licenses had been obtained) he would go out fishing every day either after work or on the weekends to get his limit. He had a secret spot and always came home with salmon. He would prepare it, let it sit over night and smoke it the next day. Then my mom would can the smoked salmon. This was a process and they had quite a system going. It was to this day and 40 years later, one of the best smoked salmon I’ve ever eaten.
I keep trying different variations of smoked salmon. The store bought chunks taste metallic and never fresh. The lox is mostly good and does the trick but I still miss the smoked salmon of my youth. Moving on, for this recipe I used Nanuk Smoked Wild Salmon (lox) from the Pacific Ocean. It’s tasty and I was pleased with the results.
For these appetizers I estimate two pieces per person if you are having other food on the table. Depending how thick you cut the cucumber you could feed 8-10 people. Replace pink peppercorns with tiny capers if you love them. The peppercorns do not add a lot of heat, in fact I was eating them right out of the bag and finding them not very spicy! So I added more on top.
For the fresh dill you can only buy a package or bunch of it so add whatever is left over to your salads or salad dressings. My Mom got me hooked on adding herbs to salads back in the 1990’s. Adds a whole new dimension to my salad game.
I made the lemon zest using my citrus zester (show below). If you do not have one slice very thin pieces of peel from the lemon using a vegetable peeler or paring knife. Ensure you only remove a thin strip of peel, avoiding the white pith. Lay the peel flat on a cutting board and with a sharp knife cut along the long side very thing strips. Do your best, perfection is not required here or in any of my recipes!
Tip: Prepare ahead and assemble when time. When I made these appetizers for our recent cookie exchange and wine night I wanted them to be as fresh as possible. So I prepared all the ingredients and put them in to individual containers. Zested lemon and peppercorns into separate snack sized ziplock bags. Same with dill. Cut cucumbers into a plastic container. It comes together quickly when it’s time to assemble.
These Smoked Salmon on Cucumber Rounds have quickly become a favourite here and a recipe we will make again. Do you have a favourite quick and easy appetizer recipe you like to make for special occasions?!