This Asparagus in Smoked Salmon and Cucumber recipe could not be more simple. With just 5 ingredients and only 15 minutes to prepare, it will become your new favorite appetizer. It’s a perfect appetizer recipe for a last minute impromptu get-together. I like to keep a package of smoked salmon in my freezer just for these occasions! Plus, it’s perfect as a healthy snack too!
The Ingredients for Asparagus in Smoked Salmon and Cucumber:
Just 5 simple ingredients:
- Asparagus: you will only need about 3 or 4 asparagus spears for this recipe. But, I cook the entire bunch that I purchase and then use the remaining spears in this Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad or serve the cooked asparagus on its own. When choosing asparagus, look for stalks that are firm to the touch rather than limp. The tips should be closed, not spread out.
- Salt: add a little salt when cooking the asparagus.
- Cucumber: English cucumbers are best for this recipe. One cucumber is large enough to fit the smoked salmon-wrapped asparagus spears and long enough to make about 12 rolls.
- Smoked Salmon: Norwegian smoked steelhead salmon works great. The slices are the perfect thickness for rolling. You can find smoked salmon in Costco, or they are usually available in all grocery stores.
- Cream Cheese: Any original flavor cream cheese is great, so long as it is spreadable. My personal favorite cream cheese is the Western cream cheese. It is really creamy so it spreads well on the smoked salmon. I also find that it has less additives than some of the other cream cheeses out there.
That’s really it!
How to cook the asparagus:
- Fill a medium-sized pan (large enough to fit the asparagus spears) with water, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and bring to boil.
- While the water is preparing to boil – break off the tough ends of the asparagus and discard. The ends will snap once you start bending them. Rinse the asparagus and add to the boiling water.
- Reduce heat to low and cook the asparagus for about 3-5 minutes, until it turns bright green and becomes crisp-tender.
- Meanwhile, prepare a bowl of cold water and add ice. This will be used to “shock” the asparagus and prevent it from cooking while it’s still hot. Or, to save dishes, I sometimes simply pour cold tap water over the asparagus in the pan and add ice cubes directly in the pan.
- Drain the asparagus and transfer into the icy water. Let them cool in the water for about 30 seconds and transfer the asparagus to a clean paper towel and pat gently to dry.
How to prepare the Asparagus in Smoked Salmon and Cucumber:
- Cook the asparagus and set aside.
- Prepare the cucumber: Rinse the cucumber and pat dry with paper towel. Lay cucumber on a cutting board, trim the ends, and slice it in half lengthwise. Scoop out all seeds by gliding a small scooper or a tip of a teaspoon across the length of the cucumber. Discard the seeds or use in a salad. For presentation, you may like to peel alternating stripes out of the cucumber by using a peeler.
- Lay one cucumber half on a cutting board and arrange the smoked salmon slices slightly layered on top of each other so as to create one large salmon slice that is the length of the cucumber. Using a butter knife, spread the cream cheese over the smoked salmon.
- Place the asparagus on the bottom of the salmon, lengthwise. You may need to cut the asparagus to fit the length of the cucumber and smoked salmon slices. Gently lift the bottom of the salmon slices over the asparagus and roll up the smoked salmon until fully rolled. Keeping one of the cucumber halves on the cutting board, gently transfer the salmon and asparagus roll into the cucumber half.
- Holding the cucumber half (stuffed with the salmon and asparagus roll) with one hand, place the other cucumber half on top. Hold the “sandwich” tight with one hand and use the other hand to secure about 12 toothpicks (about 1 1/4 apart) evenly into the cucumber.
- Using a large, sharp, knife to cut the cucumber between each toothpick, making about 12 rolls. Place the rolls on a serving platter and serve.
Try these other quick appetizers:
- Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps
- Sun-Dried Tomato and Mango Crostini
- Cod Liver Deviled Eggs
- Fig and Pear Prosciutto Wraps
- Pizza Rolls Appetizer