Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cucumber & Smoked Salmon Verrines

Verrine is French for 'glass case' or 'protective glass'. In a culinary context, it refers to any layered recipe, usually an appetizer or dessert, served in individual glass dishes. Goblets can work. You might even use any clear, glass, drinking glasses...depending on the size and shape (smaller breakfast/juice glasses?).

Ingredients (Serves 4):
1 cucumber
dash salt
1 Tbls lime juice
1 lime
1 tablespoon olive oil + more to drizzle
½ apple (green or pink lady)
4 pink radishes
9 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped dill
4-6 oz smoked salmon, diced
½ tsp cracked red peppercorns

Peel and seed cucumber, grate it and place it in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and let rest on the side for 30 minutes to drain. Peel, core and cut the apple in small sticks and drizzle with lime juice to prevent oxidation. Transfer to a bowl. Wash and trim the radishes; cut into very small sticks.

Press on the cucumber with the tip of your fingers to squeeze out the excess water; combine with the apple and radish sticks. Add the fresh herbs, 1 tablespoon yogurt* and the olive oil. No need to add more salt as the cucumber is already seasoned.

Divide between four glasses. Top with 2 tablespoons of yogurt in each glass and finish with the diced smoked salmon. (I made two layers of each ingredient in my verrines.) Drizzle with olive oil and top with cracked red peppercorns. Garnish with lime slices -- to drizzle with extra lime juice. Serve with bread sticks.

This image isn't anything I made personally (it's a street-side vendor's treat, for sale in Venice when I was visiting earlier this summer); but it is another example of a verrine...a honey, yogurt, granola, and mixed fruit verrine. Beautiful presentation and it doesn't require any complicated recipe or prep work.

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