A simple canapé of quick-pickled cucumbers, sliced avocados, smoked salmon and fried quail eggs make for a beautiful, yet quick and easy, hor d'oeuvre. With your pinky up or down, this is a wonderful one-bite snack that goes great with Champagne or sparkling cider.
- 1 large cucumber
- 1/2 cup champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 1 small ripe avocado, halved
- 4 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 12 fresh quail eggs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel and slice the cucumber to yield 12 rounds that are each 1/4-inch thick. Reserve the unused cucumber for another use. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Add the sliced cucumbers to the vinegar mixture and toss to combine. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Drain the cucumbers and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange the cucumber slices on a serving platter. Thinly slice one half of the avocado and divide the avocado among the cucumber slices—you can cut and shape the avocado so that they fit neatly across the cucumber rounds. Layer and divide the smoked salmon among the cucumber rounds.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Carefully crack 4 to 6 of the quail eggs into the pan, making sure to keep the yolks intact. Cook the eggs until the whites are set, but the yolks are still runny, about 2 minutes. Using a thin spatula, transfer the fried eggs on top of the cucumber rounds. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pan and repeat with the remaining eggs. Lightly season the eggs with salt and pepper and serve immediately.