Two Awesome Avocado Appetizers

Smoked Salmon and Avocado Pinwheels

Those of you who are frequent readers are by now well aware that we're big fans of app night.  It happens around here at least once a week.  For us, app night usually takes the form of a large platter filled with appetizers like cheeses, breads, olives, smoked salmon, hard boiled eggs, little meatballs, various crostini or breadsticks, dips, sausage bites, veggies, shrimp, whatever’s on hand that’s quick and easy.  

A quick peek at the Circle B Kitchen recipe index will immediately confirm the notion that we’re way into appetizers and the whole idea that dinner (or happy hour) should be fun.  To that end, I have recently added a couple more passengers to our app train and they’re both riding in the avocado car! 

Our first app, Smoked Salmon and Avocado pinwheels, pictured up top, happens to be one of those perfect little bites of flavor…smoked salmon, avocado and a tasty lime mayo.  They’re quick and easy to make and all you’ll need is some smoked salmon, 


(This is our very favorite smoked salmon right now - from Costco!)

…and your favorite wrap. 

I used a multigrain wrap, but you could use a flour tortilla or any other wrap that you’re into or have on hand.  It’s just gotta be fresh and soft.  Then we’re going to spread half with the avocado mixture and the other half with the lime mayo.  Then top half of it with the smoked salmon and roll it up real tight. 

Then slice it up and chow down.  So good. 

This second app, which is an avocado crostini topped with feta cheese and a sprinkling of cracked black pepper, seems like a no-brainer because it’s so simple and so very easy. 

I had no idea that avocado and feta cheese were such good friends.  But if this yummy combo hasn't been on my radar before, I’m thinking it may not have occurred to some of you either.  And I couldn’t not talk about it because it really is so incredibly good.  

To make these heavenly little crostini even more fiendishly delicious, might I suggest you find yourself some especially good feta cheese.  Pictured above is my go-to feta cheese and has been for years.  It really is amazing stuff... creamy, luscious and just the right amount of saltiness.  It's imported from Israel, and they carry it at Trader Joe's, so if you have one of those near you, snag some for your fridge. As a bonus, it lasts a really long time!

I happened to have served these two apps together one evening when The Husband remarked that they should perhaps always be served as a pair.  His observation was that the flavors of the smoked salmon bites totally complemented the avocado and feta cheese, creating a nuanced balance that made them perfect together. So there you have it from a professional consumer of Circle B Kitchen eats, and I take his opinion quite seriously (most of the time). 

We’re pretty much deep into the dog days of summer now and cooking often seems like the last thing we want to inflict on ourselves.  So just grab a big platter and fill it with fun little finger foods and forget about cooking altogether.  Set it into the middle of the table or out on the counter where everyone can grab and go.  It’s a win for everyone.  Here are the recipes…

Smoked Salmon and Avocado Pinwheels

Click here for a printable recipe

These are so simple to make, but pack loads of flavor.  If using the smaller 8-inch size wrap, divide the ingredients in half when assembling as it will make 2.  Each roll will make about 6 slices.  Otherwise, this will make one large-size wrap.  

Makes about 12 appetizer slices 

(2) 8-inch or (1) 12-14-inch wrap (I used multigrain)
2 ounces smoked salmon
Mayo spread (recipe follows)
Avocado spread (recipe follow) 

Mayo Spread

¼ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lime juice
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper 

Stir together the mayonnaise with the lime juice, salt and pepper and set aside. 

Avocado Spread

1 avocado
4 teaspoons of lime juice
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper 

Slice the avocado in half, remove the seed and discard.  Use a spoon to remove the avocado from the peel and place in a small bowl.  Mash with a fork until fairly smooth.  Stir in the lime juice, salt and pepper and set aside. 

To assemble, place one wrap on the counter and spread half of it with the mayo spread and the other half with the avocado spread, keeping about an inch away from the edges. 

Place the smoked salmon on the avocado spread and roll up the wrap as tightly as possible. 

Wrap this securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Remove the roll from the plastic wrap and carefully slice into 1 to 1½ inch pieces.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Crostini with Avocado and Feta Cheese

Click here for a printable recipe

Makes 4 crostini 

4 slices of baguette, grilled or toasted
1 avocado
4 teaspoons of lime juice
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Fresh cracked pepper for serving 

Slice the avocado in half, remove the seed and discard.  Use a spoon to remove the avocado from the peel and place in a small bowl.  Mash with a fork until fairly smooth.  Stir in the lime juice, salt and pepper and set aside. 

*Grill or toast the baguette slices and spread with the avocado mixture.  Top with the feta cheese and a good sprinkling of freshly cracked black pepper. 

Serve immediately.

*My favorite way to do this is to brush the baguette slices with a tiny bit of olive oil (or spray with olive oil cooking spray) and sprinkle them with just a bit of kosher salt.  Then I place them oiled side down on a very hot grill pan until they get some sear marks and then turn them over for just a minute.  We love the charred, smoky flavor this gives the bread, without drying it out overly much.

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