I recently hosted a five-course Tuscan dinner which had been bid on at our annual church school auction. One of the hits of the evening was a smoked salmon bruschetta, served as an antipasto course. (By the way, the word is pronounced “broo-sketta.”)
I used red onion marmalade that I had made earlier. Once you make this, you will find lots of uses for it. It’s delicious on almost any grilled meat. Layer it with cheddar cheese to make a yummy grilled cheese sandwich. Serve with shrimp instead of cocktail sauce. It will become a staple.
I grilled the bread for the bruschetta and it occurs to me that it would make a good beginning for your July 4 cookout. You can grill the bread before the ribs or burgers go on the grill, and it’s a quick job to assemble them once you’ve done that. You could also use purchased crostini or baguette toasts for a smaller version.
I hope your guests will enjoy it as much as mine seemed to.
Smoked Salmon Bruschette
For the onion marmalade:
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 large red onions, peeled and very thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dry red wine
To assemble the bruschetta:
6 ½-inch thick slices of crusty Italian bread
Olive oil for brushing
4 oz. mascarpone cheese (see note)
4 oz. smoked salmon, thinly sliced
5 ounce bag of arugula
¼ cup (approximate) limonolio (See note)
To make the marmalade, in a heavy medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft and just starting to brown a bit, about 20 minutes. Add the remaining marmalade ingredients, reduce the heat a bit and simmer until the liquid is reduced and the marmalade has a jammy consistency.
Brush the bread slices with olive oil and toast lightly on both sides, either on a grill or under the broiler. Spread with the mascarpone cheese, then with about a tablespoon of the onion marmalade. Top with the salmon and sprinkle generously with the arugula. You can make these a little ahead to this point and refrigerate. When ready to serve drizzle with the limonolio. Serves six.
NOTES: 1) Mascarpone cheese is available in many supermarket cheese cases. If you can’t find it mix one 3-ounce package of softened cream cheese with two tablespoons of sour cream.
2) Limonolio (lemon flavored olive oil) is available at both Whole Foods and Fresh Market, but you can also grate the zest of a couple of washed and dried lemons into about a half cup of good olive oil and let it set for an hour or so before using. If you do that, you will need to refrigerate any leftovers.