Smoked Whitefish Spread on Cucumber

An Easy, Healthy Summer Appetizer

Ever wonder how to throw a Scandinavian Feast to celebrate Midsummer, the longest day of summer? Think fish and fresh plus a summery dessert buffet. One appetizer idea? A quick and easy-easy healthy summer appetizer, just smoked fish mixed two ways (either with sour cream or cream cheese) and spread on thin slices of cucumber and topped with caviar, capers or fresh herbs.
Smoked Whitefish Spread on Cucumber Slices, another easy summer recipe ♥ Low Carb. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly.

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How to Throw a Party for Midsummer

So we had a little party on Saturday, gathering friends to celebrate the Summer Solstice – what Scandinavians and my Inner-Finn call Midsummer.

Saturday was St. Louis' first day of sun after many-many days of monsoon-style rain. All of us were happy to be outdoors, even if there was no walking on the lawn (thanks to two to three inches of standing water hidden by four or five inches of unmowable grass); even if, as the night wore on, the frogs blasted us with boombox-worthy fervor; even if the evening became stickier and sticker and buggier and buggier.

Acck, hang the weather. Onto the food report!

A Midsummer Feast

We promised our guests a Scandinavian Feast and, well, we delivered! Our Midsummer menu is below – but think fresh fish, including the ever-so-Scandinavian salmon in three forms – and simple summer salads.

And a dessert buffet!

For weeks, I struggled over the sweet course: my goal, I kept thinking, was a single show-stopper Scandinavian dessert plus a couple of small bites.

But then I consulted with my dear friend Pille of the Estonian food blog Nami Nami who, smart food person that she is, suggested a dessert buffet.

But really, what was she thinking?! A dessert buffet is a dangerous proposition for someone who loves to bake! My mantra became, "I'll quit when I run out of time or butter, whichever comes first!" (Any guesses how that worked out?)

Our dessert buffet was filled with tiny bites of pastry and fresh fruit, especially lingonberries, strawberries and blueberries with good measures of both chocolate and nuts. Twas such good fun, baking with abandon! I recommend it ...

I ♥ Showy Appetizers

Who else loves showy appetizers? Especially no-fork-necessary small bites that are totally healthy?!

This Smoked Whitefish Spread can be made up to two or three days ahead of time, then needs just slap-dash assembly an hour or so before serving.

I made two different versions – one based on sour cream, another based on cream cheese – thinking I'd settle on one. But both were so good, I decided to keep both recipes.

The sour cream version is all about the smoked fish. It would be the better choice if you were going to serve it on its own, say, just a single appetizer.

The cream cheese version is more familiar, more expected and less about the smoked fish. I didn't think I'd like it so much and at first thought it would be "better" on the cucumber slices.

But really? Both work beautifully, either alone or on cucumber slices or on crackers, in an omelet, and so on.

A Lesson in Small Portion Size

These little appetizer guys are simple but make a big lesson in the power of "small portion size" – with the sour cream version, three slices are just 44 calories but contain almost 6 grams of protein and only 1 gram of carbs. Perfect for summer!


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 4 hours
Each recipe makes about 3/4 cup
  • 4 ounces smoked whitefish (just the edible flesh)
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 2 drops Worcestershire
  • 2 grinds black pepper
  • 4 ounces smoked whitefish (just the edible flesh)
  • 2-1/2 ounces cream cheese (low-fat works great)
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon horseradish
  • 2 grinds black pepper
  • Cucumber, sliced thin
  • Salmon roe, optional
  • Small capers, optional

For either recipe, use the back of a fork to break apart with smoked fish, separating and gently mashing the flesh. Don't be tempted to get out a food processor: it will yield a fishy goo. Instead, just work that fork.

Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours to allow the flavors to meld.

Up to an hour before serving, spread Smoked Whitefish Spread on the cucumber slices, top with a tiny spoonful of roe or a few capers.

The assembled appetizers may be chilled for up to an hour, then serve cold.

ALANNA's TIPS Isn't that red caviar just so-so pretty?! It is but you use so little and a jar is quite pricey. The capers are just as tasty and much less expensive. A few sprigs of fresh herbs would be just as good. I was really tempted to add a little crunch, minced red onion (soaked in cold water for a few minutes to brush off any harshness) or minced celery. One or both would be great additions if you were going to use the spread in a sandwich, say.
Per << three >> Cucumber Slices (assumes 1/2 tablespoon Smoked Whitefish Spread made with Sour Cream and 1/2 teaspoon caviar each): 45 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 52mg Cholesterol; 275mg Sodium; 1g Carb; 0g Fiber; 0g Sugar; 6g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 1 & PointsPlus 1 & SmartPoints 1 & Freestyle 0

Per << two >> Cucumber Slices (assumes 1/2 tablespoon Smoked Whitefish Spread made with Cream Cheese and 1/2 teaspoon caviar each): 43 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 39mg Cholesterol; 206mg Sodium; 1g Carb; 0g Fiber; 0g Sugar; 4g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 1 & Points Plus 1 & SmartPoints 1 & Freestyle 1

FREESTYLE NOTES It's great news that so many of these ingredients are "free" in Weight Watchers' freestyle point calculation. It's a great gift that smoked fish and even caviar (aka fish roe) are zero points in the freestyle point-calculation system. We l-o-v-e smoked fish!

A Scandinavian Feast & Midsummer Menu

* recipes coming soon and ** crowd favorites

The Starters

Swedish Knäckebröd &
Norwegian Nut-Seed Crackers* **

Danish Edam &
Norwegian Gjetos

Fish & Shellfish:
Swedish Pickled Herring &
Housemade Gravlax* (Smoked Salmon)
Chilled Smoked Lobster Claws &
Chilled Smoked Scallops

Small Bites:
Potato Bites with Smoked Salmon ** &
Smoked Whitefish Spread on Cucumbers (recipe above)**

The Main Course & Salads

Grilled Whole Salmon Wrapped in Banana Leaves with Dill Sauce
Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Tiger Shrimp **
Ned's Sausage Pot with Potatoes & Peppers* **
Finnish Summer Potato Salad **
Zucchini Spiral "Noodle" Salad **
Refrigerator Pickled Beets with Fresh Blueberries **

The Sweets: A Scandinavian Dessert Buffet

Finnish Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake **
Easy-Easy Jam Tart with Lingonberry Preserves **
Mini Finnish Fruit Tarts **
"Nana's Tarts": Mini Shortbread Tarts
with Brown Sugar Lemon Curd & Fresh Mint **
Chocolate Cream Puffs Stuffed with Strawberries & Cream **
Vanilla Brownies with Fresh Strawberries **
Rhubarb Cake Squares **
Swedish Rye Cookies from 101 Cookbooks
Finnish Licorice

Eat Like a Scandinavian: Start with Salmon

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Simple Grilled Salmon Roasted Salmon & Asparagus Smoked Salmon Salad
~ more salmon recipes ~
~ more Scandinavian recipes ~

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ salmon ~
~ sour cream ~
~ cream cheese ~
~ capers ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Oh, Alanna, the menu looks fabulous - I wish I could have attended the party as well! And please, oh please, do share photos of the dessert buffet!! ;)


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna