Pumpernickel Smoked Salmon Toast Points with Dairy Free Cream Cheese, Cucumber & Dill (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)
There's something special about associations and memories we have from our childhood, don't you think? Every now and then, I'll find myself doing something, for instance working on my computer, and all of a sudden, for no identifiable reason, I'm flooded with a memory from early on. Maybe it was the perfume of someone who just walked by my desk, or a song I'm listening to, but something triggers a deep-seeded feeling that I am completely overcome with.
I have these feelings even more often when I'm in the kitchen, or eating at home or at a restaurant. Smells and tastes can bring me right back to a specific place and time in my life, that I probably haven't even thought about since.
Aren't memories amazing? Little glimpses back in time that are locked away somewhere in our brains, untapped, until something in our present environment makes a connection: "I've heard this before," or "I've smelled this before," or "I've felt this before."
As a kid, my parents would have parties for friends and family for all sorts of occasions—birthdays, anniversaries, inaugurations, graduations, you name it. My mom was always a great entertainer. She loved making beautiful spreads of food for guests, creating flower arrangements to sprinkle around the house for a warm touch. And my dad always took pride in setting up the bar for drinks and the raw bar for oysters. They would not joke around when it came to entertaining!
I would help out a lot on the day of a party. My mom would give me tasks to help out, like chopping vegetables, making the dinner rolls, plating hors d'oeuvres, setting out the plates and silverware, among other things.
One hors d'oeuvre I remember so vividly (because I personally loved them), was toast points that she would make using a fresh loaf of bakery pumpernickel bread, topped with cream cheese, smoked salmon, a slice of cucumber, and a sprig of dill. The combination of the rustic, full-bodied pumpernickel bread, with the cool tang of cream cheese, salty and fatty salmon, with refreshing cucumber and fresh dill was one that has stuck with me through the ages.
So I decided it was time to recreate this favorite. But here's the thing. It had to be gluten free and dairy free. Lucky for me, I've found ingredients that are just as good as the original.
After 6+ years of not eating gluten, I was beginning to get frustrated with the stale selection (that's a bread pun) of gluten free breads offered in stores. For one, most breads on the market are crumbly in texture and can't hold up to the plethora of toppings I like to put on my toast. Or (and this is the biggest issue I have with store-bought gluten-free breads), the ingredient lists are riddled with various forms of processed sugar or other preservatives that I wouldn't be able to identify if it was put in front of me. So I started making my own bread. I knew what each ingredient was and its purpose, and the breads were nutrient-dense, protein-rich, and clean. I felt great eating them knowing that I had made them myself, but I have to say, baking two loaves of bread is an all-day process. And while I love doing things myself, I have to say that it can be tough to fit it in sometimes.
Enter, Simple Kneads Pumpernickel Gluten Free Bread. I stumbled on Simple Kneads a few months ago and, as I always do when I am curious about a new product, I went to their website and looked at their breads' ingredient lists. I was pleasantly surprised to find that their ingredients looked a lot like the breads I had made myself. No weird sugars or preservatives, and the breads included superfood ingredients like teff, buckwheat, and quinoa flours (all complete plant-based proteins). I had to give it a try. I have to say, each of their flavors is amazing. A great texture that holds together and isn't crumbly like most gluten-free breads.
And their Pumpernickel is honestly out-of-this-world good. I hadn't had a good pumpernickel bread in years (I tried to make one myself, but they have far outdone my own attempts), and theirs is chock-full of that caraway seed goodness that brings back all of those happy memories for me. And it was perfect in this recipe.
- 2 slices Simple Kneads Pumpernickel Gluten Free Bread
- 4 oz salmon
- 4 oz dairy free cream cheese (I like to use Kite Hill Cream Cheese Style Spread)
- 1/4 cucumber
- fresh dill to garnish
- Toast the pumpernickel bread to your desired crispiness (I like prefer mine pretty toasted).
- Cut each slice in half down the short length of the bread, and then each half diagonally, to create little triangles or "points" with the toast.
- Spread each toast point with the cream cheese spread.
- Top each toast point with smoke salmon.
- Thinly slice cucumber into rounds, and then halve each round. Top each toast salmon-covered toast point with cucumber, then garnish with a small sprig of fresh dill.
This post is sponsored by Simple Kneads Gluten Free Artisan Breads. You can order right on their website https://www.simplekneads.com, and they bake and ship them fresh to order.