I know it's strange, but the truth is, I really hate seaweed. I do, however, love sushi. My seaweed aversion means that most of the time I am limited to sashimi and nigiri. Now, I'm not complaining, but sometimes a girl wants to mix it up a little. Occasionally, I get lucky and a restaurant is willing to make a roll using soy or rice paper (which blissfully tastes like nothing). When this is the case, I always order the same thing: salmon and avocado. Oh salmon and avocado, has there ever been such a glorious pairing? This hors d'oeuvre amps up the creaminess even further with a swash of crème fraîche. A liberal squeeze of lemon juice balances it out with some acidity. Sea salt and pepper brings the whole bite together. —Cristina Sciarra
Test Kitchen Notes
Both my Norwegian family and my Jewish in-laws look askance at me when I eat lox with avocado. (The former favors scrambled eggs and the latter, of course, cream cheese) But, I think the combination is marvelous, so I knew instantly I wanted to give these toasts a try. They did not disappoint, indeed they were good enough to convince the skeptics! The salty, fatty salmon is a perfect counterpoint to smooth, nutty avocado. The creamy tang of creme fraiche underneath offsets and compliments them both, and then that refreshing squeeze of lemon pulls it all together beautifully and elegantly. Put these on a tray at a party, and I would not leave that corner until I had demolished it! —fiveandspice
about 20 toasts
cup crème fraîche
package organic smoked salmon
ripe avocado, cut into thin strips
sea salt, freshly ground pepper
lemons, cut into wedges
In This Recipe
Cut the baguette into thin rounds and lay them on a serving platter or baking sheet. (Toasting is optional).
Swipe a layer of crème fraîche onto toasted or untoasted baguette rounds. Top with a slice of smoked salmon and one strip of avocado. Sprinkle each toast liberally with sea salt and pepper.
Just before serving, cut the lemons into wedges and scatter them on the serving tray or baking sheet. Guests should squeeze lemon onto their toasts just before eating.
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.