Smoked Salmon Rolls are perfect appetizers. Not only do I love the taste of these two-bite wonders, I relish their cheeky appearance.
The deep pink-orange fish encloses an herb-enriched mascarpone, with plumes of feather-like arugula bursting from one end or placed on top. They look like hats women wore to the royal wedding.
To make them in advance: Prepare filling as much as a day ahead and refrigerate airtight. Rolls can be prepared 5 hours in advance; store on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Top with a single layer of slightly moist (only slightly) paper towel and cover with foil or plastic wrap; refrigerate.
I often buy smoked Scottish salmon at Santa Monica Seafood in Costa Mesa because the slices separate easily. When I buy it at the supermarket (4 ounces per pack) the slices can be challenge to separate.
With slices about 3 1/2-inches wide, arrange them with the narrowest end facing you. Put a dollops of mascarpone mixture about 1 1/2 inches above that small end, where the slice widens, then roll it up. For pre-sliced smoked salmon that doesn’t fall into neat slices and is raggedy, just spread the salmon slices thinly with mascarpone mixture (chop the capers before you mix them in), roll and trim them into shapes you can spear with a toothpick.
Smoked Salmon Rolls with Arugula, Mascarpone, Chives and Capers
Yield: 18 to 20 rolls
5 ounces mascarpone (about 2/3 cup)
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained, divided use
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives, divided use
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3/4 pound smoked salmon, sliced, see cook’s notes
50 to 60 baby arugula leaves
1. Mix mascarpone with 1 tablespoon capers, 1 tablespoon chives and lemon juice in small bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
2. Place salmon slices out on a cutting board with short side facing you, leaving plenty of space above and below each slice. You can do this in batches.
2. Put a spoonful of mascarpone mixture on the narrow end of a slice. Place 2 to 3 arugula leaves, fanned slightly, across the mascarpone mixture, so that the leaves will extend out of one side (or an easier approach, just garnish each top with an arugula leaf before serving). Roll up salmon and repeat with remaining slices. Refrigerate up to five hours.
3. Remove from refrigerator. Sprinkle with remaining chives and capers. Serve.
Source: Adapted from “The Best American Recipes” Edited by Fran McCullough and Molly Stevens (Houghton Mifflin, $26)
Have a cooking question? Contact Cathy Thomas at [email protected]