Smoked Salmon with Wild Berries on Grit Cakes

Smoked Salmon with Wild Berries on Grit Cakes

This Smoked Salmon with Wild Berries on Grit Cakes recipe makes a terrific, simple yet sophisticated appetizer–perfect for cocktail hour. The berry spread brings out the richness of the smoked salmon, which is complemented by the slight sweetness of the grit cakes. It is one of our go-to appetizers when we want something truly satisfying.


for the grit cakes:
2¼ cups low-sodium organic chicken broth
1 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup uncooked coarse-ground
yellow corn grits
3 tablespoons shallot, minced
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 (3-ounce) packages thinly sliced wild smoked salmon

for the garnish:
½ cup mixed berries
fresh basil sprigs

for the mixed berry spread:
½ cup fresh blueberries
½ cup fresh blackberries
½ cup fresh raspberries or salmonberries
⅓ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


make the grit cakes:
Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the broth, butter and salt to a boil. Gradually whisk in grits and cook 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until grits are thick, whisking frequently, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the shallot, basil and Parmesan and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Pour cooked grits into the prepared baking dish. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the grits; refrigerate for two hours or until firm. Unmold chilled grits onto a large cutting board. Cutting the grits into 12 (2¼-inch) cakes.

make the mixed berry spread:
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the berries, sugar and vanilla and cook until mixture is thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Pour berry mixture into a food processor and blend until liquefied. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve; discard seeds. In a small bowl, using an electric mixer, blend together the strained berry mixture, cream cheese and lemon zest until well combined. Chill until ready to use.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, sear each cake 2 minutes per side or until lightly browned and heated through. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Spread an even layer of the mixed berry spread onto each grit cake, then top with a slice of the smoked salmon, trimming salmon if necessary.

Garnish with a dollop of the mixed berry spread, a few berries and a sprig of basil.

Makes 12

Recipe hint
Grits are confusing to both the Southerner and non-Southerner alike, so let me break it down for you. The word “grit” is a shortened way of saying what it really means, “hominy grits.” Grits are derived from hominy. Hominy is dried corn kernels with the hull and germ removed. When this dried hominy is ground, it turns into what we know as grits.

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