Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Essential Versatility

Entertaining is something we do often, and appetizers are an essential part of every gathering. When paired with a glass of wine or a cocktail, appetizers help to set people at ease and aid conversation. They also nicely whet the appetite! This is a recipe I make often and it is always well received. Traditionally, palmiers are a sweet pastry; this recipe is savory creating an interesting twist on this delicacy.

One of the beauties of this recipe is its versatility. Almost any combination of vegetables can be substituted for the roasted peppers, as long as they have been sauteed first, if necessary, to soften them. Prosciutto or other thinly sliced cooked meat can be substituted for the smoked salmon. I like to use fresh basil, but pesto can be used, as can tapenade. The recipe can also be halved. It can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator or frozen. To make ahead, layer the cooked slices between waxed paper in an airtight container. Store in refrigerator overnight or freeze for up to one month. To reheat follow the baking directions below. If palmiers are not frozen, bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until heated through.

Smoked Salmon Palmiers

1 pkg. frozen sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 c. densely packed basil leaves, finely chopped
Olive oil
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
¼ c. capers, rinsed
½ c. roasted red peppers, chopped
½ c. roasted yellow peppers, chopped
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz. smoked salmon
1 egg
1 Tbsp. water

Preheat over to 400. Line two large baking sheets with parchment and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the chopped basil with enough olive oil to make it easily spreadable with a pastry brush—about 2 Tbsp. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface roll one sheet of the puff pastry to an 11 inch square. Brush with half the basil mixture. Top with 2 Tbsp of the capers, then half of the spinach, red peppers, yellow peppers, Parmesan cheese, and smoked salmon. Sprinkle these ingredients evenly over the surface of the puff pastry.

Roll one side jelly-roll style carefully to the middle and stop.
Repeat with the other side rolling until both side meet in the middle. With a very sharp serrated knife carefully cut the roll into ½ inch slices.

Carefully transfer the slices to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the other sheet of pastry. With a fork beat the egg and water until well mixed. Brush the tops of the slices.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until the slices are puffed and browned. Serve warm or transfer to wire racks to cool.
Makes about 24 slices.


  1. Ooh. I've seen cheese palmiers, but smoked salmon? Great idea!

  2. They are very tasty! Try them out and let me know what you think.

  3. Ooh, I might have to make these. They are beautiful, and look scrumptious!

  4. Oh, Justine, I hope you do. They are truly delish! And, not at all difficult or complicated. Very straight forward.