An Easy, Elegant Appetizer

A bit of a Whole Foods splurge replaced going out for a birthday dinner, and I have to say I wouldn’t have had it any other way. As I mention in my About page, I truly do feel like the produce section, heck, most sections, of Whole Foods is like beautiful food art.

Among the things purchased? Mango juice for smoothies, sparkling Italian soda for cocktails, and Amazing Grass Kids Super Food, which happened to be on sale. The kids version is much better-tasting, and I am really looking for ways to amp up my nutrient intake.

Italian soda

I also picked up something I have been wanting for some time, a bottle of blood orange olive oil. It smells so beautiful, and I can not wait to make up some recipes that center around it.

blood orange olive oil

Our original plan was to make up a bunch of appetizers for our dinner, but we ended up stopping at just a couple, crostini with smoked salmon spread, followed by Whole Foods’ guacamole, which happens to be one of my all time favorites. The smoked salmon spread idea came to me in the seafood aisle at Whole Foods, and I loved it so much that I had to share!

It started with half of a tub of crème fraiche. I love this Vermont Creamery brand. I also really love the story behind the company.

creme fraiche

I added the crème fraiche to my mini food processer with a few slices of sustainable smoked salmon from Maine. It cost a little more, but the more I learn about sustainable fish, the more I want to try to buy from companies concerned with sustainability.

smoked salmon

To make the spread, I very simply pureed the salmon with the crème fraiche until completely blended. It really isn’t the prettiest looking spread, but it was delicious. I think next time I would add in a tiny bit of chopped red onion for a bit of flavor and crunch.

smoked salmon spread

While I was making the spread, I had baguette slices, drizzled in olive oil, baking at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes until golden and crunchy.


I whipped out a jar of grated ginger, a Whole Foods purchase from earlier in the weekend. Embarrassed smile

grated ginger

To serve, I topped the baguette slices with some smoked salmon spread and slivers of ginger. The ginger gave it a fresh brightness which paired well and provided a contrast from the creamy crème fraiche and smoky salmon. Chopped red onion, capers, tomato, or sweet/spicy peppadew peppers would also be great toppings. I am thinking the next time I have company, I will have a top your own crostini bar!

smoked salmon spread

I am actually going to a Scottish smoked salmon event tonight, so I will have even more salmon (and whisky) for you tomorrow.

Spending my birthday evening in my kitchen was so relaxing; we even ate these picnic-style on the floor!

I think some people might think it strange that I wanted to prepare my own birthday feast; do you prefer to go out for special occasions, or do you have some great memories of preparing a special occasion meal in the comfort of your own home?

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Tags: appetizer, Food, recipe, salmon, Whole Foods

  1. Michelle’s avatar

    I really like this smoked salmon spread! Since I do a lot of the cooking in our household, I love going out for my birthday to give me a bit of a break in the kitchen!


  2. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog)’s avatar

    I don’t think it’s strange at all! I can go either way. Sometimes I prefer to cook and create, other times I’d like to have someone do it for me. :)


  3. alicia’s avatar

    That smoked salmon spread is a great appetizer for entertaining! Very impressive!

    You truly cannot go wrong with creme fraiche.


  4. Megan’s avatar

    The more I hear about your birthday, the more fabulous I think it sounds. I like making my own cake and have since college… my friends kind of thought it was silly, but whatever… I got what I wanted. :) This year I feel like I have to do something momentous since it’s the big 3-0. But I’d also be perfectly happy doing something like this.


  5. Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle’s avatar

    I’m very much a go out kind of birthday girl. I cook a lot at home, so it always seems more special to go out, plus it’s nice having someone cook a lavish meal for me for a change ;)


  6. Susan’s avatar

    I think that’s a great way to spend a birthday celebration!


  7. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    So fancy! I’d prepare my own meal too. Why not have exactly what you want? My meal would be fried pickles though.


  8. Raija’s avatar

    I prefer having YOU cook for my birthday feast! ;)

    Another fish spread I love is salt cod brandade….yum. Your salmon creme fraiche recipe reminds me of it slightly.

    I can’t wait to spend time in your kitchen with the windows open! Yay for spring and summer!!


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