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How to Make a Smoked Salmon Cold Appetizer with Capers and Dill

Cold salmon appetizer served on a chilled Himalayan salt block.
Cold salmon appetizer served on a chilled Himalayan salt block. | Source
Cast your vote for Cold Salmon Appetizer

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 2 hours 20 min
  • Ready in: 2 hours 20 min
  • Yields: 2 Salmon Rolls- Approximately 12 to 16 pieces

Note on the Prep Time:

Two hours of the preparation time is spent as time that the rolls will spend in the refrigerator to reset the cream cheese and will make them easier to slice.

Looks Can Be Decieving

This appetizer tastes amazing, looks fantastic, and is surprisingly easy to make. In about 20 minutes, you can have two salmon rolls in your refrigerator, and about an hour or two later, you can have one of the easiest appetizers you have ever made. It looks complicated when it is completed, but looks can be deceiving.

If you only have one package of smoked salmon or only want to make enough appetizers for two, you can easily make half of this recipe and the result will be perfect. You can adjust the seasonings to your taste and the taste of your guests. That is one of the great things about cooking at home! A recipe can almost always be adjusted to suit you and the flavors that you love.

The final beauty of this recipe is the presentation. I serve these on a Himalayan salt block for a couple of reasons. First, the moisture of the cucumber laying on the block will give a burst of mild salt seasoning directly to the tongue when the appetizer is eaten. The second reason is because of how beautiful the salt block is, and finally, the salt block is chilled before plating so it helps keep the appetizer cold when it is out for your guests.

While the salt block is not a necessity for this recipe, it is a great addition for this and many other cold appetizer presentations.

Capers are a beautiful addition to this recipe. They add seasoning and most of all, flavor.
Capers are a beautiful addition to this recipe. They add seasoning and most of all, flavor. | Source
Cold salmon roll appetizer.
Cold salmon roll appetizer. | Source

What You Will Need

  • 7 ounces sliced, smoked salmon
  • 8 ounce packaged cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon capers
  • about 1 to 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon or 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1 cucumber

How to Make a Cold Smoked Salmon Appetizer

  1. If you are using a salt block for presentation for this recipe, be sure to have it in the refrigerator to chill at least a few hours before you plan to serve the smoked salmon appetizers.
  2. Chop the dill.
  3. Place the room tempeture cream cheese into a mixing bowl and add the cream and capers. Drizzle in a splash of the caper brine.
  4. Mix the first three ingredients throughly.
  5. Add the dill, salt (be careful with the salt if you are using a salt block) pepper, parsley and lemon juice. Mix until well combined.
  6. Prepare your smoked salmon pieces. 3.5 ounces per roll. Arrange them in a solid sheet.
  7. Apply the cream cheese mixture to the sheet of smoked salmon. Keep the mixture 1/4" from the edge to prevent the filling from coming out during rolling. Spread the mixture in an even layer so all of the appetizers have the same thickness and amount of filling in them.
  8. Gently coax the salmon over itself and roll it into a log. Do not apply pressure! If you press down on the salmon roll, the filling will come out the ends and edges.
  9. Wrap the roll in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours (or overnight) so the cream cheese sets back up and makes it easier to slice.
  10. While the rolls are chilling, cut your cucumber into slices.
  11. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and unwrap them.
  12. Using a sharp knife, cut the rolls into slices anywhere from 1/2" to 1" thich depending on how many appetizers you want to have.
  13. Place the cucumber slices on your salt block, platter or plate in a single layer.
  14. Place one piece of the smoked salmon roll onto each cucumber slice.
  15. Top each piece with a few sprigs of fresh dill.
  16. Keep the finished appetizers chilled and in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them to your guests, or eat them yourself.

Step-by-step Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Chop up the dill.Put the cream cheese in a mixing bowl and mix it around to loosen it up.  Add the cream, capers and a little splash of the brine that the capers are packed in.Mix the first three ingredients well.Add the chopped dill, salt and pepper to taste (go easy on the salt) and the parsley.  Add the lemon juice and mix well.Separate your smoked salmon pieces.Arrange your smoked salmon pieces to form a solid sheet of salmon.Spread the filling out on the salmon.  Keep it 1/4" away from the edges so it doesn't squeeze out when you roll it.Keep the filling consistent in thickness so each roll has the same amount of filling.Roll the salmon GENTLY.  Do not apply pressure because if you do, the filling will come out the ends of your roll.Wrap the roll in saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours so the cream cheese sets back up.Slice your cucumber.Remove the salmon roll from the refrigerator and take it out of the plastic wrap.  It is ready to slice!Gently slice the roll into pieces that are 1/2" to 1" thick, depending on how many appetizers you want get out of the roll.When sliced, you can see the nice pinwheel design that you created in the salmon roll.Get your salt block, plate or platter because it's time to put it all together!Lay out the cucumber slices where you want the appetizers to be.Put 1 salmon piece on top of each cucumber.Top each salmon roll with a little bit of fresh dill as a garnish.Your salmon rolls are finished and ready to serve!
Chop up the dill.
Chop up the dill. | Source
Put the cream cheese in a mixing bowl and mix it around to loosen it up.  Add the cream, capers and a little splash of the brine that the capers are packed in.
Put the cream cheese in a mixing bowl and mix it around to loosen it up. Add the cream, capers and a little splash of the brine that the capers are packed in. | Source
Mix the first three ingredients well.
Mix the first three ingredients well. | Source
Add the chopped dill, salt and pepper to taste (go easy on the salt) and the parsley.  Add the lemon juice and mix well.
Add the chopped dill, salt and pepper to taste (go easy on the salt) and the parsley. Add the lemon juice and mix well. | Source
Separate your smoked salmon pieces.
Separate your smoked salmon pieces. | Source
Arrange your smoked salmon pieces to form a solid sheet of salmon.
Arrange your smoked salmon pieces to form a solid sheet of salmon. | Source
Spread the filling out on the salmon.  Keep it 1/4" away from the edges so it doesn't squeeze out when you roll it.
Spread the filling out on the salmon. Keep it 1/4" away from the edges so it doesn't squeeze out when you roll it. | Source
Keep the filling consistent in thickness so each roll has the same amount of filling.
Keep the filling consistent in thickness so each roll has the same amount of filling. | Source
Roll the salmon GENTLY.  Do not apply pressure because if you do, the filling will come out the ends of your roll.
Roll the salmon GENTLY. Do not apply pressure because if you do, the filling will come out the ends of your roll. | Source
Wrap the roll in saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours so the cream cheese sets back up.
Wrap the roll in saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours so the cream cheese sets back up. | Source
Slice your cucumber.
Slice your cucumber. | Source
Remove the salmon roll from the refrigerator and take it out of the plastic wrap.  It is ready to slice!
Remove the salmon roll from the refrigerator and take it out of the plastic wrap. It is ready to slice! | Source
Gently slice the roll into pieces that are 1/2" to 1" thick, depending on how many appetizers you want get out of the roll.
Gently slice the roll into pieces that are 1/2" to 1" thick, depending on how many appetizers you want get out of the roll. | Source
When sliced, you can see the nice pinwheel design that you created in the salmon roll.
When sliced, you can see the nice pinwheel design that you created in the salmon roll. | Source
Get your salt block, plate or platter because it's time to put it all together!
Get your salt block, plate or platter because it's time to put it all together! | Source
Lay out the cucumber slices where you want the appetizers to be.
Lay out the cucumber slices where you want the appetizers to be. | Source
Put 1 salmon piece on top of each cucumber.
Put 1 salmon piece on top of each cucumber. | Source
Top each salmon roll with a little bit of fresh dill as a garnish.
Top each salmon roll with a little bit of fresh dill as a garnish. | Source
Your salmon rolls are finished and ready to serve!
Your salmon rolls are finished and ready to serve! | Source
Your guests will love this appetizer!
Your guests will love this appetizer! | Source

My Video on How to Make This Recipe

The Himalayan Salt Block Featured in this Recipe

Using a Salt Block to Serve Cold Appetizers

The salt block is an optional serving presentation choice for this and many other recipes. They are useful in creating an interesting and different presentation as well as seasoning the food that is displayed on the salt surface. Your guests will ask you question about the salt block if you choose to use one.

In this recipe, the water in the cucumber dissolves and absorbs some of the salt block. Not enough that it will cause any issues with the block but just enough to give the appetizer a bit more seasoning. It is important to pull back the amount of salt that you are using in your recipe if it will be served using a salt block.

They are also nice because they aren't commonly used and they do create a unique presentation. The beautiful pink and white coloring compliments many cold appetizers like sushi, shrimp cocktail and raw vegetables. They are definitely a conversation piece worth considering if you want something different and unusual in your food presentation.

Lastly, another reason that I chose the salt block for this and many other cold appetizers that I serve is because it does help keep the food cold. The block can be chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving time and it stays cold for hours after being removed from the refrigerator. Your food is sitting on a cold surface which will help keep it cool for a longer period of time.

My Pink Himalayan Salt Block

Himalayan salt blocks are great for unusual and fun presentations with cold appetizers.
Himalayan salt blocks are great for unusual and fun presentations with cold appetizers. | Source

© 2016 Helena Ricketts

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Comments 3 comments

Rachel L Alba profile image

Rachel L Alba 4 weeks ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

Hi Helena, I love salmon. I never had it smoked, but would like to try it. Your appetizer looks so elegant. Thanks for sharing.

Blessings to you.


Helena Ricketts profile image

Helena Ricketts 4 weeks ago from Indiana Author

Thank you. I do love using that salt block for serving cold appetizers. It's definitely something different.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 4 weeks ago from Brazil

Although I'm not a fan of salmon, this would make a lovely appetizer for guests. You're right about that salt block, it is the perfect way to present the salmon roll-ups.

Excellent visuals and tutorial.

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