Smoked salmon, Greek yogurt and cream cheese Pitas
This time we will suggest an appetizer that is quite different. Perhaps you have tasted the Russian blinis.
Blinis are traditional Russian pancakes/crepes (depending on the size and thickness of the dough), that are served mostly with caviar or smoked salmon and sour cream. They are considered (and they are indeed) a great festive delicacy.
So, inspired by this, we thought of transforming the Russian recipe to a Greek; Instead of using blini as the base for the appetizer, for us it was very easy to just use a nicely grilled Greek pita/pitta bread. We selected a small sized pita which was a bit larger than blinis, but suitable for our purpose. There are packs with 6 or 12 small pitas (about 10cm/3 inches in diameter), but if you can't find them don't worry. Just buy some regular pitas and cut them in four, forming four nice triangles. The Greek pitas are pocketless pitas, so do not choose the ones which that can be sliced open. You need the plain fluffy pocketless rustic pitas.
We took those pitas, brushed them with good quality extra virgin olive oil and grilled them using a grill pan. You can also grill them in the oven using the broiler and a wire rack. If you don't care that much about the nice grill marks on the pita, you can also cook ("grill") them on a simple fry pan as well. When nice and ready (grill marks developed), they smell so good you almost want to have them without any topping. But we didn't do that. Instead, we decided to add a beautiful fresh layer of Greek yogurt mixed with lemon juice and cream cheese. We skipped the sour cream, as we wanted a different (perhaps richer) taste to combine with the pocketless pita. On top, we added some pieces of good quality smoked salmon (cut in very thin slices) and some dill. You can add as much dill as you prefer; We also tried this recipe adding dill in the yogurt-cheese mix, and it was also really good!
The pitas are served right away, as -depending on the dough of the pita- they may start to harden a bit after an hour. So it's a make & serve appetizer; a festive appetizer that's very quick and very easy; you just prepare the pitas, mix the yogurt-cheese condiment and assemble them. Try to have just one, as they 're delicious but they 're also filling! Kali oreksi!
- 6 Greek pita breads, small size (pocketless)
- 200g (7oz) smoked salmon, cut into pieces
- 200g (7oz) good quality Greek yogurt
- 200g (7oz) cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra virgin olive oil (for the pitas)
- 2 tablespoon (30ml) lemon juice
- dill for the topping
- salt and pepper
Brush the pita breads with the olive oil (both sides).
Grill the pita breads on a grill pan, on medium to high heat, for about 3 minutes. Flip them and continue grilling for another 1-2 minutes.
Remove the pita breads from heat and place them on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
While the pitas are cooling down, add the yogurt, the cream cheese and the lemon juice in a bowl and mix well until blended. Add salt and pepper.
Place 1 tablespoon of the Greek yogurt-cheese mix on each pita bread and spread it on the surface using a butter knife.
Add 2-3 slices of smoked salmon on top. Sprinkle with dill and serve. Kali oreksi!
1. You can add finely chopped dill in the yogurt-cheese mix, for a stronger dill taste. You can also add some lemon zest if you prefer.
2. As mentioned, if you don't have a grill pan don't worry. Just use your oven broiler and a wire rack or just a fry pan to grill the pitas.