Everybody knows salmon and cream cheese bagels, everybody knows jam roly-poly (aka roulade)... you'd never have thought that there ever could be a cross between the two, have you? Yet it is a winning combination, I often make it for a brunch with friends, it's always an eye-catcher as part of a buffet or passed around at a party. It looks stunning and is really not difficult to make, the only challenge is to find tramezzini bread - which I have not yet succeeded at here in London, so I import it.
The bread used for making tramezzini is softer and moister than a sandwich loaf, it has no crust and is cut very thinly. If you cannot find any, don't despair, use thin-cut sandwich slices and flatten them as best you can, lay a moist tea towel over it for a few minutes, then assemble immediately. The gervais I make for this is full of flavours using any herbs you have at hand, although I find dill to be an essential. The roulade is best prepared the night before and wrapped tightly into cling film, this will ensure that the layers hold together nicely, then cut into slices just before serving.
Salmon roly-poly with herb gervais
(yields ca. 16 slices)
2 slices tramezzini bread (substitute with 4 slices thin sandwich bread, no crust)
150 g thinly sliced smoked salmon
½ handful basil
½ handful parsley
1 handful dill
½ handful sage
½ handful thyme leaves
100 g philadelphia cream cheese
ground white pepper
Prepare the gervais by mixing all the herbs and cream cheese in a bowl. Season to taste. Take the individual tramezzini slices and flatten them as best you can and lay them on a large piece of cling film. Spread half of the cream cheese on top and arrange the salmon slices so that they cover the whole of the bread slice. Using the cling film as support, roll the bread&topping to form a very tightly packed roll. Envelop fully with the cling film and refrigerate until serving, ideally over night. I stand them up in a glass to avoid them being squished by other food.
If you are using regular sandwich bread instead of the tramezzini, use thin-cut sandwich slices and flatten them as best you can, lay a moist tea towel over it for a few minutes, then assemble immediately. Use 2 sandwich slices to create one roll, be careful when you're rolling up where the two ends meet, you don't want to break the "snail-shell" pattern.
Cut into 1 - 2 cm slices just before serving.