Smoked Salmon Crostini

I can’t throw a party without having some sort of crostini on the menu. Crunchy toasts with creamy, porky, cheesy, whatever-y toppings are one of my all time favorite foods. My ideal breakfast is crispy toast with a generous slather of butter, sprinkled with sea salt. This recipe, with smoked salmon, thin slices of baked baguette, and herbed cream cheese, is great any time of day. Serve it at a breakfast or brunch with fresh-squeezed orange juice mimosas. Offer it at lunch with sparkling lemonade or at a cocktail or dinner party with aperitifs.

Smoked Salmon Crostini

1 everything seeded sourdough baguette, thinly sliced
Olive oil, for brushing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 quarter of a medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
Water
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 heaping tablespoon capers
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
4 ounces smoked salmon

  1. Start by making the crostini. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Place the baguette slices in an even layer on the baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Flip the bread slices and repeat, brushing each one with oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the bread is lightly toasted and just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Place the sliced onion in a small bowl. Pour the vinegar over the top. Add enough water to completely submerge the onion. Stir to combine. Set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes; the onions will become slightly pickled and less pungent.
  4. Combine the cream cheese, capers, and parsley in the bowl of a food processor. Drain the red onions and discard the liquid. Pat dry with a paper towel and add the onion slices to the food processor. Pulse on and off until the vegetables are chopped and the mixture is smooth and well combined. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse one more time to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your preferences.
  5. To assemble, spread a heaping teaspoon of the herbed cream cheese on top of a slice of crostini. Top with a small piece of smoked salmon. Repeat with the remaining slices of toast and the rest of the cream cheese spread and smoked salmon. Grind a little more fresh pepper over the top of the salmon, if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves 6.

The cream cheese spread can be made 2 days in advanced; keep covered in the refrigerator and let come to room temperature before using. The crostini can be prepared one day in advance; keep at room temperature in an airtight container.

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