Cool Cucumber With Spicy Smoked Salmon Tatare(Serves 6)
Sliced cucumbers or zucchini make great alternatives to crackers for canapés. So often our summer snacks involve bread, chips or crackers. This appetizer sounds fancy, but is super quick and easy to prepare and has the added bonus of being grain-free. I have substituted parsley for cilantro at times for a different flavour. Also, you can omit the Asian Chili paste and jalapeño. If so, you could switch the lime juice to lemon juice and maybe add a few capers and/or chopped egg (hard boiled). Enjoy!!
1 English cucumber
½ lb.(125g) sliced smoked salmon
1 handful fresh cilantro, well washed and dried
1 shallot (finely diced)
1 large jalapeño chili, minced
1 tsp.(5ml) Asian Chili paste with garlic
Juice of ½ lime
2 tbsp.(30ml) extra virgin olive oil
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Trim off and discard the ends of the cucumber. Score the skin with a fork in an attractive pattern or peel decoratively with the pairing knife. Cut the cucumber into half inch (1.25 cm) slices. You should have about 18 pieces. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the canapés.
Finally, dice the salmon using a sharp knife and cutting board. Remove 18 cilantro leaves for garnish and chop the remainder. In a bowl combine the salmon and chopped cilantro with all the remaining tatare ingredients except the salt and pepper. Using a large fork,mix well but do not overwork, check the seasoning adding salt pepper and additional chilli paste to taste, cover and chill for at least 1 hour before assembling.
Using a melon baller, scoop out the seeds and soft flesh from the cut side of each cucumber piece, forming a rounded hollow but making sure to leave a solid bottom. Place a heaping teaspoon (5ml) of the tartare mixture in each hollow and garnish with a cilantro leaf. Arrange attractively on a serving platter.
Nutritional Value (3 pieces): Calories: 78, Protein: 4.6g, Fat: 5.6g, Carbs: 2.5g.