Cold Smoked Salmon Hors-d'œuvre

Yield: 2 lbs Salmon

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 36-78 hours 


Cured Cold Smoked Salmon

2 lbs Salmon

1 c. Kosher Salt 

¼ Black Pepper

Zest of 1 Lemon

Infused Basil Olive Oil

3 c. (packed) Washed Basil Leaves

1 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sauteed Almond Slices

½ c. Almond Slices

1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper 

Parmigiano Reggiano 

Thin Salted Crackers 


Cured Cold Smoked Salmon

  1. Prep the curing pan. First, place a double layer of paper towel into the pan, or baking sheet,  and then lay down a long piece of plastic wrap. 
  2. Rinse the salmon fillet with cold water, and then pat dry with a paper towel. Place the clean salmon fillet onto the plastic wrap, in the prepared pan. 
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together kosher salt & black pepper. Use the entire salt mixture to cover both sides of the salmon fillet. Then use the zest of 1 lemon to zest both sides of the fillet. 
  4. Now, very tightly wrap the salmon fillet in plastic wrap and cure in the refrigerator for 24 - 72 hours. I tend to cure my salmon for the full 72 hours. To care for your curing salmon, you will need to flip the fillet onto its other side every 12 hours, and possibly drain the extra liquid accumulating and change the paper towel. In addition, you will want to weigh down the fillet. I use a second baking sheet, and whatever is heavy in my fridge to act as the weight. This week it happened to big a giant tub of feta and kalamata olives! 
  5. After the curing is complete, discard the plastic wrap and paper towels. Clean the salmon by rinsing off the curing mixture completely with cold water. Place the cleaned cured salmon on a clean baking sheet, and pat dry with a paper towel. Very lightly dust both sides of the salmon fillet with black pepper. 
  6. Prepare your smoker grill according to its directions. For this recipe, I used a blend of 3 equal parts of maple, hickory and cherry wood chips. As this is a very gentle heat we are using, there will be some fluctuation in the temperature. The golden range for the temperature is 71 - 80F. Place the cured salmon onto the wire grill rack and smoke for 12 - 24 hours. 
  7. Take the salmon off of the grill. Store the cold cured smoked salmon in the refrigerator. 

Basil Infused Olive Oil

  1. Prepare a large bowl with ice water. 
  2. Fill a medium pot about halfway with water, and bring to a boil. Blanch the basil leaves in the boiling water for 5 seconds. Then, immediately plunge them into the icy water bath. This will lock in that iconic bright green color. Take the leaves out of the water after about 5 seconds and pat dry with a paper towel. 
  3. In a food processor, pulse together the blanched basil leaves & the extra virgin olive oil until a puree has formed.  Pour the puree into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 24 hours. 
  4. After 24 hours, use a cheesecloth to filter out the basil puree. You will be left with a translucent and bright green basil infused olive oil. Store the infused olive oil in an airtight container, in the refrigerator. 

Sauteed Almond Slices

  1. Place the olive oil into a saucepan. Place the sauce onto a stove top and set the heat to medium high. Allow the oil the heat up first.
  2. Place the almond slices into the warm oil and saute. The almond will be done cooking when they start to turn golden brown with roasted spots.
  3. Place the sauteed almond slices onto a paper towel, on a plate, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Cold Smoked Salmon Hors-d'œuvre Assembly

  1. Place the salted crackers onto a serving tray. Then place a very thin slice of cold smoked cured salmon onto each cracker. 
  2. Using a peeler, peel thin slices of parmigiano reggiano and position a piece on top of every salmon topped cracker. 
  3. Then, place 1 - 2 almond slices on top of the parmigiano reggiano. 
  4. Finally, drizzle basil infused olive oil onto the hors-d'œuvres.
  5. Serve and Enjoy!!