It’s Smoked Salmon Crostini, with a twist. Avocado, cream cheese, cucumber and sesame seeds make this crostini taste just like a Philadelphia sushi roll!
Earlier on in this whole 2020 “experience,” I was really craving the two things that weren’t available for carry-out or curbside pickup: Lebanese food, and sushi.
My favorite restaurants for each of those things were closed, and others in the area simply don’t compare.
But if 2020 has proved anything, it’s that we can be resourceful. My homemade kafta recipe stood in for Lebanese takeout, and the sushi craving was momentarily quelled by this little snack (although I often had several for a light lunch).
While I spent one day of culinary school learning to roll sushi rolls, let’s just say I don’t really have enough training to want to go down that path at home.
So, I swapped the rice for crostini, but my stomach said I still did justice to the flavors I was craving.
What is a Philadelphia Roll?
When you see a “Philadelphia roll” on a sushi menu, you’ll know to expect a combination of smoked salmon and cream cheese (the “Philadelphia” in the name of the roll being derived from the Philadelphia cream cheese brand).
This distinctly American sushi roll often includes other ingredients like avocado, scallions, sesame seeds, and cucumber.
While you would probably never find a roll like this in Japan, the research I’ve done on the history of the Philadelphia roll indicates that by combining foreign foods like sushi with ingredients Americans were accustomed to, like cream cheese, Japanese expat chefs and restauranteurs in America were able to make sushi less intimidating.
How interesting, right?
How to find the ingredients for this Smoked Salmon Crostini:
You should be able to find most of the ingredients at your regular grocery store – baguette, avocado, smoked salmon, whipped cream cheese, cucumber and sesame seeds.
If your grocery store doesn’t carry smoked salmon, my favorite trick is to stop by a bagel shop and just ask for a small portion of smoked salmon in a to-go container (I often do this when I want to make a savory cottage cheese breakfast bowl or a smoked salmon platter).
Now, for the the nori. It’s completely fine to skip this ingredient if it’s too hard to locate in your area. But, it does add a big burst of umami to the crostini, so I do love it. While my regular grocery store used to carry nori, it seems in recent months, some of the more “exotic” ingredients haven’t been a priority for them to stock (completely understandable).
So, I headed to my local Asian market to purchase nori. If you’d like to add wasabi to the cream cheese mixture for heat (optional), you’ll want to pick that up at an Asian market, too.
What to serve with smoked salmon crostini:
If I’m serving these crostini for a happy hour at home, or a brunch along with a breakfast charcuterie board, I love something with champagne or prosecco, like my Cherry & Ginger Prosecco Spritz. The ginger also works well with the Asian flavors in the crostini. A non-alcoholic option like a Sparkling Mango Lemonade is also a great choice.
If I’m serving these for a light lunch or dinner, a simple salad alongside would be great. Fresh greens dressed with miso dressing or citrus salad dressing are perfect. If you’re serving them as part of a brunch buffet, a vegetarian quiche would be a great entree.
- 1/2 baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (12 pieces)
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 small avocado, peeled and pitted
- 1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon wasabi (optional)
- 1 mini cucumber, thinly sliced
- 2 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 12 small pieces
- 1/4 sheet nori, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place baguette slices on rimmed baking pan and lightly spray both sides with cooking spray. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until very crisp, turning once.
- Meanwhile, in small bowl, mash avocado with fork until smooth. Add cream cheese and wasabi to taste, if using, and stir until smooth.
- Spread each piece of toasted bread with avocado mixture. Top with cucumber and salmon. Sprinkle with nori and sesame seeds and serve immediately.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 281Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 590mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 9g
More great ideas for smoked salmon:
- Everything Bagel Quinoa Cakes with Smoked Salmon – fancy-ish brunch at home!
- Cucumber Cups with Smoked Salmon Salad – inspired by a technique I learned in culinary school.
- Smoked Salmon & Avocado Mousse Phyllo Cups – super simple yet impressive appetizer.
- Everything Bagel Pizza with Lox – is breakfast pizza a thing? If it is, this would be it.
- Smoked Salmon BLT – make it on an English muffin!
- Smoked Salmon Frittata from Killing Thyme
- Smoked Salmon Chowder from Little Spice Jar