Out of all the many many many appetizer and salad-type recipes I’ve written about on my blog over the years, this one is hands-down the most dramatic, the most delicious and the easiest one of them all. It’s just plain show-off beautiful, and you can make it in about ten minutes. No kidding. Ten minutes. I wish I could take credit for inventing all this fabulousness, but I can’t…more on that later. But I did make the version up in that picture there, and you can too!
Here’s what you need: a nice firm green apple, some soft goat cheese and a little smoked salmon. My supermarket sells what they call “smoked salmon ends” in a little container for about the millionth of the price of regular smoked salmon – ask at your seafood counter if they have them too. The garnish is a mixture of chopped cucumber, red onion, capers, olive oil and fresh ground black pepper.
The apple gets sliced Very Very Carefully on a mandoline. You can of course do it with a regular old knife, but the mandoline gives you very quick and beautifully thin slices. Place a generous dab of goat cheese and a little smoked salmon on the bottom slice, top with a slightly smaller slice, and repeat until you have three or four layers. Now circle the whole thing with your cucumber garnish, drizzle with some olive oil, grind on some black pepper and viola! Beauty and deliciousness.
Now to give credit where credit is due…this loveliness comes from my good friend and culinary goddess Christine Nunn. If you live anywhere in the northern New Jersey area, come taste her cooking in person at Grange, where she is executive chef. And one way or the other, pick yourself up a copy of her delicious cookbook, THE PREPPY COOKBOOK.
And in the meantime, you can whip yourself up a salmon, goat cheese and apple napoleon. The Southern husband and I had one each for dinner the other night, and it was pretty much perfect happiness here in our kitchen. A little easy fanciness is a beautiful thing!
- One green Granny Smith apple
- 2 ounces goat cheese, softened
- 2 ounces smoked salmon, torn into small pieces
- 1 cup cucumber, cut into small dice
- ¼ cup red onion, cut into small dice
- 2 tablespoons capers
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Fresh ground pepper
- Make the garnish first by mixing up the cucumber, red onion and capers.
- Right before you are ready to serve it, cut the apple into thin slices, using a mandoline (very carefully!) or a knife.
- Assemble by placing a generous dab of goat cheese on an apple slice, topped with a little bit of salmon. Repeat with several layers, ending with goat cheese and salmon on top.
- Surround the napoleon with the cucumber garnish and a generous drizzle of goat cheese. Grind some pepper on top and serve at once.