Puff pastry shells spread with a tangy cream cheese dressing and topped with smoked salmon and rows of rainbow-colored veggies. They assemble easily, are colorful and are ideal as a salad course (or light luncheon entree). ... Pls see EDITED TO ADD AFTER RSC CONCLUDED note for an alternate salad option.
- 1 sheet puff pastry (thawed)
- 6 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried dill
- 6 ounces smoked salmon (finely shaved slices)
- 16 fresh grape tomatoes (sliced)
- 2 eggs (hard-boiled, halved & sliced)
- 1 carrot (sliced in 1/4 in coins & cooked crisp-tender to tender, your pref)
- 8 canned asparagus spears (use green asparagus spears cut to 4-in length or cooked fresh asparagus cut to 4-in length)
- 1⁄2 white onion (halved again & thinly sliced, may use boiler or pearl size thinly sliced in rings)
- 1 tablespoon capers (optional garnish)
- 1⁄2 tablespoon dried parsley flakes (optional garnish)
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out cold pastry sheet. Cut 4 5x5 in squares. Using a dull kitchen knife, gently score cut squares 1/2 in inside all cut edges to create a 4x4 in inside square.
- Dock the 4 in inside square of the pastry to prevent excessive puffing (This is done by piercing the dough at 1/2" intervals w/the tines of a fork).
- Line the 4-in inside square w/foil or parchment paper & place dried beans or rice on it to stop the pastry base from rising excessively in the oven.
- Gently transfer squares to baking sheet & bake 15-18 min or till golden brown. Remove from oven & set aside to cool.
- While pastry is baking, cook carrot coins to desired doneness, prepare other ingredients & set aside.
- Combine cream cheese, Dijon mustard, lemon juice & dried dill. Mix well & set aside.
- To Assemble Salads: Gently remove any excess puffed pastry from the 4x4 in inside square so that surface is relatively flat. Spread each scored 4-in pastry area w/approx 1 1/2 tbsp of the cream cheese dressing.
- Then assemble salads all at 1 time in rows using the following order & begin at the top as you face the pastry shells:.
- Row 1: Layer 4-inch row of sliced grape tomatoes -- Row 2: Place 2 cut-to-size asparagus spears -- Row 3: Layer 4-inch row of shaved smoked salmon slices -- Row 4: Layer 4-inch row of sliced egg halves -- Row 5: Layer 4-inch row of carrot coins.
- Scatter thinly sliced white onion rings (or segments) over the top of all salads.
- Garnish w/capers &/or dried parsley flakes as desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate till ready to serve.
- NOTE: Edited to add after RSC concluded -- If you prefer to eliminate the use of puff pastry, these salads assemble easily on a salad plate of mixed greens -- not near as elegant, but just as pretty!
Another hidden treasure from RSC#9....if only I had the chance to make more during the contest!! This was a 10 star recipe - what a BRILLIANT idea......a superb selection of ingredients and an unusual and exciting recipe! I had NO green asparagus - which would have made it look even more stunning than it did; and no cherry tomatoes - instead, I used white asparagus and "grappe" tomatoes - and nothing else was changed at all, oh I did use grated carrot instead of rounds. The concept was simple - the result was delicious. This recipe will be a regular guest at out table now and thanks so much for posting this - the colours were fantastic, the flavour sublime! FT:-)