This is one of those appetizer plates that could easily turn into a meal if you let it. It’s spectacular when you’re too damned lazy to cook, or when you’re watching the Red Sox march to the World Series (which they are this year), or when you’re watching the latest episode of The Walking Dead.
It’s fairly simple to assemble. You do not need to smoke your own salmon. Smoked sockeye salmon is readily available (and sliced perfectly for this dish) at your local supermarket. Everything else you need for this, in my opinion, is stuff a well-stocked kitchen should have.
Serve it with your favorite wine. People will tell you that it should be a white wine, but what if you don’t really like white wine? I hate food and drink rules, frankly. Drink whatever the hell wine you want.
For serving, you need a long platter. I still have the one that my mother used when we were kids.
1 pkg of smoked sockeye salmon
4 tbsp capers
Lemon juice (for drizzling)
Extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
2-3 tbsp freeze-dried dill (Litehouse makes a great product)
Bunch of asparagus, blanched
Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper (to taste)
This is mostly an assembly project, folks. However, the first thing you need to do is trim off the hard (whiter) ends of the asparagus and discard them. Bring a pan of water to a rolling boil, place the asparagus in and just blanch them until they are tender enough to eat. Don’t allow them to become limp. Drain the asparagus and run it under very cold water. Set aside.
Line the long serving plate with a layer of baby arugula, one of the eight wonders of the foodie world.
The smoked salmon is generally layered in the package in stages. You want to spread them out a bit more, but leave them in layers, so that all of the slices can benefit for the olive oil and lemon drizzle. Place them atop the arugula on the long serving plate. Then, place the blanched asparagus along the sides.
Drizzle everything with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice, and salt and pepper (to taste). Sprinkle dill on top and add the capers. Remember to drizzle and sprinkle the asparagus as well.
I recommend serving this with Triscuits, and I prefer the olive oil and cracked pepper Triscuits. Simple and delicious.
Remember that this recipe is simple to double up on as well.