Recipes

Be open to the open-face sandwich

A salad of salmon, both smoked and canned, mixed with hot sauce, shopped fennel (for crunch), red pepper and chives, tops slices of rye in this smorrebrod-style sandwich.
A salad of salmon, both smoked and canned, mixed with hot sauce, shopped fennel (for crunch), red pepper and chives, tops slices of rye in this smorrebrod-style sandwich. TNS

Smorrebrod, literally butter and bread, an open-face sandwich tradition from Denmark, deserves attention.

The smorrebrod often is made on moist, dense, slightly sweet whole-grain rye bread spread with a high-quality butter. Look for super-dense whole grain rye or pumpernickel bread. Then look for the best butter you can afford. The butter does more than add flavor and calories – it acts like a moisture barrier between the bread and the topping, effectively preventing soggy bread.

When serving them open face, offer a knife and fork, and spend time on some garnishes, such as sliced small tomatoes.

The salmon salad proves super flexible. Thanks to a tangy dairy base, most any cooked or smoked salmon works well. Canned salmon is a fast option, as is canned tuna or shredded cooked chicken. The spread works well on toasted pumpernickel bagels too.

Double salmon and chives on rye

Prep: 30 minutes; chill: 30 minutes; makes: about 3 cups, 6 servings

1 package (8 ounces) light cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sour cream

Finely grated lemon zest from 1/2 lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 to 3 dashes red pepper hot sauce, optional

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh fennel bulb (or celery)

1/4 cup finely diced roasted red bell pepper (homemade or jarred)

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

4 ounces smoked salmon, such as Nova salmon pieces, chopped, about 1 cup

1 can (6 ounces) wild Alaskan red or pink salmon, drained, flaked

Soft butter, optional

6 to 12 slices hearty rye bread

Garnishes: Fresh fennel fronds, shaved fresh fennel bulb, sliced tomato, thin apple slices

Stir softened cream cheese and sour cream together in medium bowl until smooth. Stir in lemon zest, salt, pepper and hot sauce until well mixed. Stir in fennel, red pepper and chives. Fold in smoked and canned salmons. Refrigerate covered up to 3 or 4 days.

To assemble sandwiches, spread a thin layer of soft butter (if using) over one side of a slice of bread. Top with a 1 / 2-inch thick smear of the salmon mixture. Garnish as desired. Serve with a knife and fork. (Or top with a second slice of buttered bread, and skip the utensils).

Nutrition per serving: 249 calories, 10 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 57 mg cholesterol, 19 g carbohydrates, 5 g sugar, 18 g protein, 733 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

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