Since posting my Prosciutto, goats cheese and rocket canapé recipe I can’t stop thinking of canapé. I wake, or am woken by our little one, in the middle of the night, when I’m later drifting back to sleep I find myself thinking about recipes for good canapé. A mouthful or two that would hold together, not be too much faff to make and be beautiful – oh, and delicious of course.
I’m also thinking about Christmas. We are going to be spending it with my parents here in Edinburgh, which will be great. I feel a lot of this past year has been spent charging up and down the country and while I love visiting friends and family, staying put for a change feels gorgeous. Christmas has always involved smoked salmon in my family. There was never a starter to our Christmas big meal, rather there were squares of brown buttered bread topped with smoked salmon, black pepper and lemon juice and a glass of bubbles, before the big meal. When my brother and I were younger only half the plate would have black pepper on it and then as we got older more of these wonderful canapé would have black pepper. So smoked salmon is one of our musts at Christmas.
This canapé uses halved cherry tomatoes dried in the oven overnight. This is a method that Nigella Lawson introduced me to with her ‘Moonblush’ tomatoes. The tomatoes are then topped with cream cheese with lemon zest and black pepper. A ribbon of smoked salmon is placed on top of the cream cheese and a delicate few thyme leaves are finally put on top of the salmon. It’s dead easy. The tomatoes need to be started the night before, but once ready you are 15 minutes away from delicious mouthfuls.
I piped the cream cheese on the tomatoes to make it look neat, but you could just use a teaspoon.
Moonblush tomato and smoked salmon canapé
18 cherry tomatoes – these will weigh around 320g/11oz
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp sugar
½ tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
150g/5¼oz soft cream cheese
100g/3¼oz smoked salmon
a good handful of fresh thyme
Makes 36 canapé
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/450°F/gas mark 7.
2. Halve the cherry tomatoes and place in a roasting tin. Cover with the salt, sugar, dried thyme and oil.
3. Put the roasting tin in the oven and turn off the heat. Leave for eight hours without opening the door, and then remove them from the oven.
4. Put the cream cheese into a bowl, add in the lemon zest from the 3 lemons and add in lots of ground black pepper. Mix well.
5. Top each tomato half with cream cheese. Then take a small piece of smoked salmon (3½cm/1½” x 2cm/¾“) and twist it before placing on top of the cheese.
6. Finally, dress your canapé with a little piece of thyme, or some thyme leaves.
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