Welcome to the first day of Thanksgiving Week!
Every day for the next 7 days I’ll be posting a new healthy Thanksgiving recipe to serve as inspiration for your own Turkey Day feast. The week will flow just like a menu, from starters and salads to side dishes and mains.
First up is the appetizer course: a gorgeous smoked salmon platter with all the fixin’s. Fish might not be the first thing to come to mind when planning your Thanksgiving menu, but seafood actually took up a great deal of table space at the original Thanksgiving feast of 1621. This makes complete sense given that the historic dinner took place in seafood-rich New England!
Smoked salmon is such an elegant, richly flavoured treat that you wouldn’t think to include it in the healthy foods category, but it is a great option as far as appetizers go. Five thin slices of the beautiful orange-hued flesh (a generous portion if you’re enjoying it as an appetizer) contains under 100 calories, roughly 10 grams of protein and a good dose of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. One downside: the smoking process contributes quite a bit of sodium to the salmon, so keep portions in check and drink plenty of water to help counteract any bloating effects.
Aside from its nutritious profile, the real beauty of this dish is its simplicity. Hardly any work is required–slicing an onion and chopping some dill is as involved as it gets–and the platter comes together in 5 minutes flat. All you have to do is arrange the salmon slices artfully on a platter or tray, scatter with onion slices, capers and dill and serve with lemon wedges, crackers or bread, and some cream cheese or sour cream (I used Greek yogurt because I’m obsessed, but go with whatever you prefer).
When it’s time to serve, place the platter in a central location and let your guests mix and match toppings to create the perfect smoked salmon bite. To accommodate those who don’t eat seafood, serve a simple vegetarian appetizer alongside (try one of these healthy fall appetizer ideas).
If you’re concerned about cost, you should know that smoked salmon isn’t cheap! Like other special occasion treats such as lobster and raw oysters, it’s best saved for a smaller group. I paid a little extra for sustainably caught wild sockeye salmon, but choose what makes sense for you and your budget.
Be sure to stop by tomorrow for the next Thanksgiving Week recipe! Hint: it’s a fun take on winter squash that you’ll want to serve long after Thanksgiving is over.
- 2 150-g packages sliced smoked salmon
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 2 tbsp capers
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 lemon, sliced into wedges
- Rye crackers or bread for serving
- Arrange the salmon slices in an overlapping fashion on a platter or tray. Scatter red onion slices, dill and capers on top of salmon. Serve with rye crackers, Greek yogurt or sour cream and lemon wedges.