We, like many families we know, are spending the two weeks of our holiday break mostly at home. One of my greatest pleasures is cooking for the people we like, so we've invited various friends and family over throughout the December holidays for casual dinners.
Our dinner party last night grew at the last minute from six people to 10, so I added a few things to the menu. For a starter, I created these smoked salmon toasts, which disappeared quickly. I'm a big believer in a well-stocked pantry and refrigerator; with the right things on hand, anything is possible.
Smoked salmon and herbed goat cheese toasts
2 ciabatta rolls, demi-baguette or other crusty bread, cut into small rounds or triangles
4 oz soft goat cheese
2 tsp lemon juice
3 tsp lemon zest, divided
a handful of fresh herbs (I used parsley and winter savory from my garden)
salt and pepper to taste
4 oz smoked salmon, cut into small strips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread toasts on a baking sheet. Toast in oven about 15 minutes, until they are dry and crunchy but not browned. Set aside to cool.
In blender or mini-chopper (I love my mini-chopper and use it all the time), whir goat cheese, lemon juice, 2 tsp lemon zest, herbs, and salt and pepper, until smooth and creamy.
Spread a bit of cheese mixture on toasts and top with smoked salmon. Sprinkle with a few threads of lemon zest. Try to put on a platter, but if you're in my house, sigh patiently as people eat them off the prep board.
Makes about 30 little toasts.