Amanda & Merrill

Smoked Salmon Mousse on Rye Toasts

February 23, 2010

- Merrill

After my crostini post last week, I couldn't stop thinking about little toasts, and my favorite things to put on them. I remembered another recipe I used to make all the time -- a smoked salmon "mousse" with cream cheese, lemon and, according to both Amanda and me, perhaps one of the most underrated ingredients out there: onion juice. The original recipe is from the Williams-Sonoma Hors d'Oeuvre cookbook, and the salmon mousse is served on what the authors refer to as "endive boats," topped with a few pearls of salmon roe and a pinch of sprouts.

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Amanda and I were talking about this mousse and suddenly thought, why not put it on a crostino? And since it's smoked salmon, what could be better than some nice little rye toasts? Below is the adapted recipe for salmon mousse (I add more onion juice and some lemon zest) on rye toasts.

Smoked Salmon Mousse on Rye Toasts

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Hors d'Oeuvre

Makes 24 toasts

  • About 6 slices thin rye bread
  • 1/2 pound smoked salmon, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup crème fraiche (surprise!) or sour cream
  • 4 teaspoons grated onion, with the juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely zested lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt

1. Heat your oven to 325 degrees. Cut the bread into small triangles or squares and arrange on a baking sheet (you should have about 24 pieces). Bake until crisp, turning once, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Combine salmon, cream cheese, crème fraiche or sour cream, grated onion, lemon juice and zest, and black pepper, to taste, in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Taste and season with salt and more black pepper if necessary.

3. If you feel like being fancy, spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch star tip and pipe a generous rosette onto each toast. Or just spread a little bit of the mousse on the toasts. Serve immediately.

*The salmon mousse may be prepared and refrigerated up to 24 hours ahead. Leave it at room temperature for about 20 minutes before piping/spooning onto the toasts.


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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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mariaraynal February 27, 2010
Can't tell you how much my husband (and I!) will enjoy this recipe...
amysarah February 23, 2010
Yum. I actually do almost exactly this pretty often - only difference is I usually add a little snipped dill to the mix. My market often sells nova 'ends' - basically just the irregular pieces left after evenly slicing the salmon - for a much cheaper price, all chopped up. Sometimes if I'm feeling poor, I just use that (and add less salt to compensate) - instead of more costly varieties of smoked salmon. It still works very well.
Merrill S. February 23, 2010
Yes, I should have recommended using trimmings if you have them -- much more economical. Thanks for the reminder!
mrslarkin February 24, 2010
FYI, Trader Joe's sells the salmon bits.
EmilyNunn February 23, 2010
I am dying to have this right this very instant.
Merrill S. February 23, 2010
It only takes about 15 minutes...
Aliwaks February 23, 2010
Ah Merrill, this makes me homesick for NYC, there's something about the scent of toasted rye.

These would be nice with a little dice of cucumber on top, love cucumber and smoked salmon

This would be a fab brunch snack...ooh a brunch party of little hand held tidbits, Smoked salmon mousse rye toasts +baby bagels w/ smoked trout + deviled eggs + bacon candy + skewered homefries + something lovely with fruit, pardon me as I digress into my fantasy world of party menus
Merrill S. February 23, 2010
Now you're making ME hungry! I love the idea of cucumber with this. You could actually serve it on cucumber slices, and that would be nice too.
mrslarkin February 23, 2010
Love this. Salmon mousse is one of my go-to hors d'oeuvres when I cater parties for the Pound Ridge Library. I usually pipe it onto cucumber rounds or endive leaves. I'll have to try your recipe now Merrill! Thanks.
Merrill S. February 23, 2010
Added the comment above before I read yours! I think I'll try this on cucumber rounds next time.