Smoked Salmon, Creme Fraiche & Pickled Onion Tartine

I'm on a smoked salmon bender right now. I want salmon for breakfast, lunch and dinner day after day, every day. I paired salmon with goat cheese first, and now it's time for creme fraiche to shine. The lemon zest in the creme fraiche really takes it to another level. I'm already dreaming of a creme fraiche custard tart intensely flavored with lemon zest and berries baked into a smooth custard to make a pretty spring dessert. I might have to try that soon!

The pairing of cucumber, salmon and dill is as classic as it comes. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's a classic for a reason. We're just elevating it a little by adding lemon creme fraiche. If you did not want it as a tartine, you could make this into a regular closed sandwich too. I like them both ways. An open faced sandwich is better for eating at home and a closed sandwich would be really good to take with you on a picnic. Spring this year seems to be especially beautiful here in the bay area this year. I hope you get a chance to go outdoors and enjoy this beautiful weather, maybe with some salmon sandwiches in tow!

Recipe adapted from Cook Beautiful, Athena Calderone
Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup cider vinger
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp coriander seeds
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 small red onion, halved & thinly sliced
120 gm creme fraiche (~1/2 cup)
zest from 1 lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp seal salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
8 slices whole grain bread
2 Japanese cucumber, thinly sliced
8 oz smoked salmon
2/3 bunch dill, leaves and tender stem picked

In a small saucepan, bring vinegar, honey, coriander seeds and salt to a boil. Pour it into a bowl containing the sliced onions and let cool to room temp. In the meantime, make creme fraiche sauce by whisking creme fraiche with lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Toast the bread well (brushed with olive oil, if preferred). Spread a thick layer of creme fraiche on each slice of bread. Top with cucumber slices and smoked salmon by dividing them equally. Top with drained pickled red onions and dill leaves. Serve and enjoy!


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