Monday, December 30, 2013


Tomorrow is New Year's Eve, which inevitably reminds me of the big dinners my family used to have on that occasion when I was a little girl. Those were the 80s, and a staple appetizer on our table, as on many others in Italy, was crostini with butter and smoked salmon. This is an incredibly delicious combination that might sound completely outdated and a little trashy today, an embarrassing remnant of the world's blind reverence for French gourmet food. But I don't care if butter and smoked salmon are now regarded with the same contempt as carpaccio with arugula and shaved Parmigiano, cordon bleu, puff-pastry appetizers, and cream on pasta or chicken. I will defend these crostini because I could eat a million of them at any time, without apologies.

Is there any such thing as a smoked-salmon eating contest? I think I could win at one.

So, today I share with you my take on these infamous crostini. I believe this recipe will actually be my only (yet great!) contribution to mankind. Reader, behold, The Smoked Salmon Butter! Yes, the idea is to mix together butter, shredded smoked salmon, and dill. It is not entirely new, I admit, and you will find similar recipes online. However, my recipe asks for some whole-grain mustard, which, pardon the modesty, makes all the difference.

This smoked salmon butter is so delicious I have a hard time not eating all of it by myself in one sitting. The first time I served it was during a butter-themed party, and I was happy to present it as a huge brick of luscious fattiness surrounded by slices of pumpernickel bread (and if you want the brick, just double the ingredients in the recipe below). This year, my husband felt it was only appropriate to use fish molds to shape the butter. Both versions are scary enough to help you figure out who your friends really are.


2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
4 oz smoked salmon, shredded by hand
2 tsps dill
1 tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
salt and pepper if desired
crostini (sliced toasted bread)
  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl. (You can use the paddle attachment in your electric mixer.)
  • Line a mold with plastic wrap and, using a spatula, place the butter inside.
  • Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  • Take out of the mold and serve on crostini. 

Need more recipes for New Year's Eve? Please make Braised Lentils: Italians believe lentils will bring money in the new year, and Italy is the richest country in the world, right?

No comments:

Post a Comment