Delicious and refreshing roll-ups are perfect for serving cucumber bites for an elegant appetizer. The presentation is stunning, don’t you think so?
Recipe created for the Paris International Agricultural Show
As a Parisian food blogger, I have the chance to be invited to many events: cooking demonstrations by Michelin star chefs, cooking workshops, tastings, demonstrations, press lunches… It’s kind of a reward for all the time spent in my kitchen and behind my camera or my computer. I share all those beautiful experiences on social media, in posts and/or stories.
I also work as a recipe developer, food photographer and do cooking demonstrations for brands. I’ve created this recipe as a special order of the French interprofessional organization for seeds and plants and will cook it live on March 4, 2022, at the Paris International Agricultural Show.
Paris International Agricultural Show might be the biggest exhibition in France, beloved by both the general public and professionals. The 2022, 58th edition is back after a year off due to Covid restrictions. More than 600 000 visitors each year, more than 1000 exhibitors including breeders, producers, and elected representatives proud to show their work and represent their profession, an educational approach, and a desire to communicate… Le Salon International de l’Agriculture / SIA, is in French’s hearts, and many love to visit or follow what’s going on there each year. There are also many contests in different fields. The General Agricultural Competition selects and recognizes each year France’s best regional products and breeding animals. You’ll find more information on this fair on their website.
Be that as it may, I digress. Semae, the French interprofessional organization for seeds and plants, runs a TV show during the 8 days of the show to inform and interact on seeds and plants business and on new agricultural and environmental issues. Each day at noon is a program on an ingredient with interviews and a cooking demonstration. One of the shows will deal with cucumbers. I was asked to create a recipe with cucumber as a star ingredient and cook it in the show. Voilà, this is the story of this recipe.
Information on the recipe
Cucumber being the main ingredient of the recipe, I decided to have it both raw and cooked. In France, we eat cucumber mainly raw in a mixed salad, with cream (concombre à la crème I definitely have to share this recipe with you), dip (in the sauce or to dig in)… But cucumber is actually delicious cooked. You can prepare chilled or warm soups with cucumber. Or sauté diced cucumber with olive oil, spices, or herbes de Provence. It’s delicious. Serve it as a side or as an ingredient in a recipe as here or those goat cheese and cucumber samosas.
You’ll see that I’ve suggested to flavor the sautées cucumber with star anise, cumin seeds, and pink berries but feel free to adapt according to the spices or herbs you like or have on hands, dill for example. In France we have a 5 berries mix made of black pepper, white pepper, allspice, pink pepper, green pepper. This is the one I used initially.
So the idea here is to make thin strips of cucumber. Ise a vegetable peeler or mandoline. Then garnish a mix of cream cheese, sautéed cucumber, smoked salmon, and lemon zest. Then roll up and fix with toothpick.
From this recipe, feel free to vary ingredients, add capers, avocado…
Cucumber and Smoked Salmon Rolls
- 1 cucumber
- 150 gr cream cheese
- 1 slice smoked salmon +/- 40 gr
- 1 lemon zest and a bit of juice
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp pink berries
- 1 star anise
- Heat olive oil in a pan with cumin seeds, star anise, and the five berries mix. Leave over medium heat for a few minutes so that spices can infuse and flavor the oil.
- Meanwhile, wash, dry, and peel the cucumber. Cut the two ends to get 3 oz (85 gr) of cucumber.
- Cut the ends of the cucumber into small cubes after removing the seeds. Mince garlic.
- Sauté those small cucumber cubes with garlic in hot oil for 5 to 10 minutes, then set aside on a plate covered with paper towel. Let cool down.
- Cut thin strips of cucumber lenghwize using a mandolin or a vegetable peeler. Place them on paper towel to dry them out.
- Put the cream cheese in a bowl. Using a zester or ideally a microplane zester for very fine zests, zest lemon and add zests to cream cheese. Add a few drops of lemon juice.
- Mince smoked salmon. Add smoked salmon and sautéed cucumber to cream cheese, combine.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, adding more lemon juice, for example.
- Layout a cucumber slice, top it with the smoked salmon, cucumber, and cream cheese mixture, and roll up into bite-size pieces like in the pictures.
- Fix each bite with a toothpick and serve.