Thursday, April 22, 2010

Smoked Salmon and Apple Carpaccio: An Easy Pupu from Giada

Much as I love shopping at the farmers market and natural foods stores, I sometimes cannot resist the lure of the big box store. Although in my small household it doesn't make sense to buy a lot of items in bulk at Costco, there are a few things I go for. Case in point, where else can you buy ginormous bottles of capers like the one below? I often express my love for these salty little bites and I put them in everything from my tuna salad sandwich to my spaghetti sauce and everything in between, making those tiny little bottles you normally see both impractical and expensive. (This supersized one was under $6.00 and trust me, I will use it up!) Of course there was room in the cart and budget for Giada's new cookbook, "Giada At Home"--which contained the perfect recipe to use up some of those capers; her Smoked Salmon and Apple Carpaccio. It might sound odd to some, combining smoked fish with tart green apples and salty capers, but I had a feeling I was going to like this dish and I was right. It is a quick and simple appetizer (or pupu as we call them here), that has a wonderful combination of flavors and textures.

(Note size of caper bottle as compared to cookbook size)

This recipe can be found both in "Giada At Home" (pg 32-33) and at the Food Network site here.

Giada says, "When I go to a restaurant and want something light, I immediately look to the carpaccios and crudos, which often feature marinated raw fish. Smoked salmon can deliver the same light, clean flavors but without the worry of serving raw beef or fish at home. I like to arrange the salmon and apples on a platter and let guests pile them onto slices of bread themselves; the color of the salmon is simply stunning next to the green apples, which also contribute crunch and freshness."

Smoked Salmon and Apple Carpaccio
Giada De Laurentiis
(Makes 4-6 Servings)

6 (1/4-inch thick) slices rosemary or olive bread, quartered
6 ounces Nova Scotia smoked salmon
1 small green apple, such as Granny Smith, halved and cut into very thin slices
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the bread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly brown and crisp. Cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.

Arrange the smoked salmon in a single layer on a serving platter. Lay the apple slices on top. Sprinkle the capers over the salmon and apple slices. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with the toasted bread.

*Note: To prevent the apples from browning, in a small bowl combine 2 cups water with the juice of 1 lemon. Add the apple slices and soak until ready to use. Drain and blot with paper towels just before using.

Notes/Results: Excellent! This is a light and tasty snack, appetizer or even part of a light dinner with a salad or a bowl of soup. If you like the three main components separately, I bet you will like this combination. It isn't something I would ever think to put together, salmon and capers pair well of course, but adding the wild card green apple really works. The only thing I did differently was to leave my soft, gorgeous, still warm bakery olive filone un-toasted--it was just too perfectly soft and chewy not to. Low effort, pretty to look at, big taste, I will make this again.

Happy Earth Day! (Guess I should have posted something green!)


  1. yummy! I like the sound of this combo.

  2. I go to Costco for my capers as well! Things like that, which stay good forever, are perfect to buy there. AND cookbooks! They are so much cheaper than anywhere else.

    I know I would adore this. That sweet and salty...mmmm.

  3. That's a really interesting (and good-sounding) combination! I love Costco. The 2kg bottles of artichoke hearts! And huge jars of peppercorns!

  4. This looks so good! My fondness for smoked salmon has grown in recent years. My husband really started liking carpaccio when we were in Brazil, but he went for the beef version. I just couldn't handle the raw beef, but something like this would be great for me.

  5. Wow! What I wouldn't give for a big jar of capers like that! I go through those little tiny jars in no time! Makes me wish I had membership at Sam's.

  6. This looks fantastic! I love smoked salmon...Great appetizer.

  7. I missed this recipe but now that you've highlighted it I know, absolutely, that I'll try it. I'm trying to image tart green apple playing against the smoky flavor and soft texture of the smoked salmon. It plays well :-). I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  8. I remember when she made this on her show. I was really intrigued with the combination at the time. I have only had smoked salmon once, but I would like to try this because it's so pretty:D

  9. Deb, I was so happy to se you on fb. I'm liking the idea of salmon and apples. Sounds tasty. So, pupu is Hawaiian for appetizer? Cool. You've taught me something new.

  10. That's a new combo for me, smoked salmon and green apples but a great one! Thanks for the great idea and your presentation is mouthwatering!

  11. This looks like a delicious appetizer. I like smoked salmon and capers :)

    BTW, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

  12. This may be my fave Giada book; the pasta ponza alone was cracklicious and I really liked the scope of the recipes. And it uses capers so it's yet another very good reason for keeping a vat in the kitchen.

  13. Deb, I'm back again to thank you for your very kind words. I really do appreciate them. Blessings...Mary

  14. A lovely pairing of apple and smoked salmon!

  15. Deb, this looks positively gorgeous - I would never have thought of that combination, but I'm really keen to try - lots of beautiful crisp apples in season here at the moment too. What a great score that jar of capers was - I'm addicted to salted capers (I use them a lot), but they come in tiny little jars (about $5 a jar) and I usually use 2/3 of the jar in one dish!!
    That Giada book is on my wish list. Lucky you!

  16. Thanks everyone! It is an somewhat unusual pairing but it really works--I promise! ;-)


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