© 2015 Green Kitchen Stories Smorrebrod_1

Smørrebrød – Open-Faced Sandwiches

Smørrebrød – an open-faced rye sandwich piled high with toppings – is one of the most essential dishes in the Danish culture, most commonly eaten for lunch instead of a warm dish. Growing up, I always had a piece of smørrebrød or a “klapsammen” (double sandwich) in my school lunch box, and now I have made it part of our family, even though we live in Sweden. What I like so much about this Danish tradition is that it’s all about the toppings. Of course you need a good piece of rye bread, but it’s the toppings that make it special. Traditionally, many of the toppings involve poultry, fish and meat, but here we are showing a few of our vegetarian favourites along with some more contemporary versions. The recipes aren’t as specific as we usually write them, since sandwiches rarely call for detailed instructions. This post is more about inspiration. Our hope is that we can entice you to reach for something more than just butter and cheese next time you are making a sandwich.

Smørrebrød buffet is also a fun theme for a brunch. Simply just bake or buy a good quality sourdough rye bread (or paleo bread for a flour free option). Then prepare a table with as many toppings as you can come up with and let every guest build their own open-faced sandwich.

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We are actually on our way to Denmark today to spend some time with my family. We plan to eat some Smørrebrød as well while we are there. Let us know what your favourite sandwich toppings are and we will make sure to include them on the table. Hope you are all having a wonderful summer!

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New potatoes & pickled onion sandwich
We love a good ol’ potato sandwich. Choose new potatoes if they are in season and remember that you don’t need to peel them, just rinse to remove any dirt and place whole into a pan of lightly salted water, bring to the boil, simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until tender. Then drain and leave to cool. Cut in bite-size pieces and add to your sandwich together with mâche lettuce, mayo, quick pickled red onions, chives and dill.

Here is how we make our own quick pickled red onion:
Mix 1/2 cup (120 ml) rice vinegar or white wine vinegar with 1 tsp honey and 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp fennel seeds or cumin seeds. Then we slice up 1 red onion thinly and pour boiling water over the slices before placing them in a jar with the vinegar. After 30 minutes it already tastes divine.

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Creamy curried egg salad sandwich
This creamy curried egg salad is so typical Danish. We serve it on rye bread with small cherry tomatoes, chives and alfalfa sprouts. It can get a little messy when you eat it, but don’t let that intimidate you from trying this classic.

How to make the egg salad:
Place 4 eggs in a pan and cover with water, bring to the boil and set the timer for 8 minutes, lower the heat and let simmer. After 8 minutes, remove from the heat and place under running cold water. When the eggs are cold, crack and peel. In a bowl, stir together 2 tbsp mayo, 2 tbsp yogurt (or more mayo instead), 1 tsp curry powder and a pinch of salt. Taste and adjust the flavours to your preference. Now chop the boiled eggs and gently fold them into the curry dressing.

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Avo & Za’atar
The new queen of open-faced sandwiches and also one of the most popular subjects on instagram. Avocado is not a traditional Danish smørrebrød topping but always a welcome addition to our table. The key to this rye recipe is to use really ripe avocados. Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone, scoop out the avocado flesh with a spoon and slice very finely. Place each half on two slices of rye bread and give each avo a gentle mash with your hand. We are serving our open-faced avo sandwich with thin slices of radishes and a sprinkle of our favourite spice Za’atar. A perfect match!

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Red bell pepper & Rosemary spread
Lots of people have been asking us for a plant based spread to use on sandwiches. This popular recipe from our first book is one of our favourites. Apart from putting on a sandwich, it’s also great as a side to most dishes or together with pasta or zoodles.

Here is how we make our spread:
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Cut 3 large red bell peppers in half, scoop out the seeds and place on a baking tray. Roast for 40 minutes until slightly charred. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Add 2/3 cup (75 g) sunflower seeds, a pinch of cayenne and a pinch of salt to a frying-pan and toast for a few minutes on medium heat. Peel the skin from the peppers, chop and put in a blender. Add the sunflower seeds, 2 tbsp lemon juice and 2 sprigs rosemary and purée on high speed. Put in an airtight glass jar. Will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

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Hazelnut butter & Strawberries
Not all our sandwiches are savoury. This is a modernised version of the classic peanut butter & jam sandwich. Hazelnut butter, sliced strawberries, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, a sprinkle of bee pollen and some fresh basil. Delish! Buy nut or seed butter in stores or make your own.

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48 Comments

  1. Posted 12 Jul ’15 at 09:25 | #

    These all look incredible! I’m a big lover of the avocado one and the red pepper dip sounds amazing, especially with some crudites!

  2. Anita
    Posted 12 Jul ’15 at 09:54 | #

    ohh, the Red Bell Pepper & Rosemary spread is one of my absolut favorites. It’s so easy to make and very tasty ;)

  3. Posted 12 Jul ’15 at 11:32 | #

    Just in time for lunch! ;) I will probably have a hard time picking one, because they all look sooo good!

  4. Posted 12 Jul ’15 at 11:50 | #

    omg I don’t think I could eat these sándwiches… they are too beautiful <3

    https://aspoonfulofnature.wordpress.com/

  5. Posted 12 Jul ’15 at 12:31 | #

    These look so good! Love all the colors! Have a great time in denmark guys <3

  6. Lisa
    Posted 12 Jul ’15 at 13:40 | #

    I already make all of these except the curried egg. Good choices!

  7. Posted 12 Jul ’15 at 14:28 | #

    I’ll have one of each please! I love the colors and the various textures and flavors in each one! x

  8. Posted 12 Jul ’15 at 15:50 | #

    I love Smørrebrød, I spent the first year of my life in Denmark so my parents brought me up to enjoy Smørrebrød. I also love fresh rye bread, I used to buy it and make Smørrebrød when I lived in Oslo for six months. Your post has brought back wonderful memories for me. Your hazelnut butter and strawberries sounds amazing. H x
    http://www.hermionespantry.com

  9. Posted 12 Jul ’15 at 16:16 | #

    The hazelnut butter and strawberry combo sounds delicious, but all of them do!!! What gorgeous smorrebrods :)

  10. Posted 12 Jul ’15 at 17:35 | #

    Love your take on the classic smørrebrød. It looks so delicious. We often make the version with avocado and we definitely have to try to top it with Za’atar :-)
    /Camilla

  11. Posted 12 Jul ’15 at 20:57 | #

    What a wonderful & incredible sandwiches!!!! True that they are all TOO BEAUTIFUL to eat, and that’s what the camera is for :)
    I would love to make ALL OF THEM for my summer party.
    <3 <3 <3

  12. Susan
    Posted 12 Jul ’15 at 22:39 | #

    thank you, just what I needed!! Enjoy your trip :)

  13. Anja
    Posted 12 Jul ’15 at 22:50 | #

    my sandwiches never look as beautiful as yours! thanks for the inspiration :) I had never thought of putting potatoes on a sandwich ;)

    I like tahini, cucumber slices and chives; red pesto, parmesan and tomato; hummus, cucumber and sesame seeds or roasted garlic paste spread really thinly and topped with tomato, salt and pepper :)

  14. Posted 13 Jul ’15 at 01:25 | #

    Oh my goodness, whatta spread!!!

  15. Posted 13 Jul ’15 at 02:53 | #

    i just finished dinner, and I am not hungry… But I would do some damage at a table with all these options. Saving this inspiration – some good summer lunches are ahead for me – probably doing the egg salad one first!

  16. Posted 13 Jul ’15 at 07:35 | #

    I am all in for these kinds of sandwiches! My favorites are goats cream cheese, avocado, pepper and cilantro or homemade muhammara and fresh veggies like cucumber. So good! Have fun in my favorite country Denmark, Carina
    http://raspberrysue.wordpress.com

  17. Posted 13 Jul ’15 at 08:55 | #

    You always do such a good job blending tradition with contemporary. Your creativity is something else. What a great idea to put this out for a brunch. I’m loving the avo za’atar and the pickled onion topping.

  18. Posted 13 Jul ’15 at 12:52 | #

    Sign me up for a creamy curried egg salad sandwich, it looks delicious!

  19. Posted 13 Jul ’15 at 14:59 | #

    I love open-faced sandwiches! They’re not very common here in America, and I first heard of them when I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. These vegetarian versions are absolutely beautiful! :)

  20. Posted 13 Jul ’15 at 16:50 | #

    What beautiful food. Gorgeous. Makes me want to go and make it all.

  21. Renae
    Posted 13 Jul ’15 at 17:24 | #

    I’m going to try the red pepper spread today! It looks so good! Tell me though, is smorrebrod usually eaten with a knife and fork or should I just pick it up and shove it in my mouth?

  22. Posted 13 Jul ’15 at 19:01 | #

    The hazelnut & strawberry smørrebrød sounds so delicious! Smørrebrød also sounds a lot like the typical “smørbrød” or “brødskive” we eat here in Norway as well ;)

    Speaking if Norway… I love your first cookbook, and I was wondering if the second cookbook will come out in Norwegian any time soon.
    Thank you so much for all the inspiration!

  23. Posted 13 Jul ’15 at 20:02 | #

    How gorgeous! All of these look so delicious, elegant, and easy to put together. What a great idea.
    Have fun in Denmark, and Happy Summer!
    xx Lane

  24. Posted 13 Jul ’15 at 20:13 | #

    Ahhhhh these look SO GOOD. There is nothing better in this world than a good sandwich. Or really anything involving bread. Thanks for sharing! Going to try them all ;)

    http://www.adventurousappetite.com

  25. Posted 13 Jul ’15 at 23:01 | #

    Sandwiches have never looked SO delicious! Thanks for the beautiful inspiration – I’m definitely going to make that Red bell pepper spread soon :)

  26. Posted 14 Jul ’15 at 03:07 | #

    I love the idea of making this a theme for brunch, I think it will be one delightful gathering around a really beautiful and colorful table! I’m a fan of avocados,so I’m a little biased to AVo and Za’atar ;) but would love to taste the others as well.

  27. leena
    Posted 14 Jul ’15 at 17:32 | #

    I made the curried egg salad this morning, and it was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!! Definitely, my new fave!! With 4 soft-boiled eggs, I used 4 Tbs. of Veganaise, 1 tsp curry powder, and 1/8 tsp pink sea salt. YUM :)

  28. Wilma
    Posted 14 Jul ’15 at 19:21 | #

    Hummus och banan! Haha :)

  29. Posted 15 Jul ’15 at 00:16 | #

    What a flavorful looking lunch option … Europeans sure know how to eat!

  30. Posted 15 Jul ’15 at 11:38 | #

    Perfect for summer picnic, and indeed, combinations are endless. Just made a red pepper spread with cumin and lemon zests to go along with crunchy bread. And a pickled radish on top. Enjoy your holiday!

  31. juliz
    Posted 15 Jul ’15 at 15:32 | #

    que belleza de comida

  32. leena
    Posted 15 Jul ’15 at 18:01 | #

    making the red pickled onion right now :) do you discard the water that you pour over the onions? or does that also go into the jar with the vinegar mix?

  33. Posted 15 Jul ’15 at 23:52 | #

    I love an open faced sandwich! Avocado is definitely always one of my go-to’s, as well as hummus with kimchi. For a sweet option, I’m obsessed with banana, black tahini, and raw honey. It just hits all the spots and is absolutely delicious! X

    • leena
      Posted 15 Jul ’15 at 23:57 | #

      black tahini?! i didn’t know there was such a thing! your combo sounds delicious.. will have to check that out! thanks for sharing :)

  34. Posted 16 Jul ’15 at 23:42 | #

    It’s amazing! I prefer the version with radish and avocado!
    Have a good time this week,

  35. Posted 17 Jul ’15 at 07:48 | #

    Hazelnut butter and strawberries! What an incredible combination. I can’t wait to try all of these.

  36. Posted 17 Jul ’15 at 12:32 | #

    i am a big fan of sandwiches and danish cultured Smørrebrød is just simply awesome with its lovely spreads..

  37. Posted 17 Jul ’15 at 14:54 | #

    Wow! Amazing pictures and amazing recipes! They look great and also super healthy! We love them. We’re going to have to try some this weekend :)

    Lots of love,

    Mr.Wonderful

  38. Posted 19 Jul ’15 at 01:38 | #

    Beautiful! Keeping these in mind for a picnic next weekend!

  39. Posted 20 Jul ’15 at 02:09 | #

    Which one do I try first?! Red bell pepper and rosemary spread… mmm. Awesome work David and Luise, the photos are beautiful. Gem x

  40. Claudia
    Posted 22 Jul ’15 at 01:41 | #

    In general, not necessary for this, would love to see more YouTube videos demonstrating your recipes.

  41. Posted 29 Jul ’15 at 00:14 | #

    Hur länge håller rödlöken på ett ungefär? =)

  42. Posted 29 Jul ’15 at 11:59 | #

    Wow!! This looks so delicious!!

  43. Posted 1 Aug ’15 at 04:58 | #

    I have some leftover pita bread and I’ve been wanting to try something different with it. This gave me the inspiration I needed! THanks!

  44. Posted 6 Aug ’15 at 19:34 | #

    how beautiful is that! amazing..

    http://fulloftaste.com/banana-pancakes/

  45. Posted 28 Aug ’15 at 16:28 | #

    Thanks for the cute idea! I love open faced sandwiches. Your pictures are drool worthy!
    http://www.thesweetlifediaryofahealthnut.blogspot.com

  46. Posted 6 Feb ’16 at 10:13 | #

    So Nice to taste… I can seek a lovely breakfast with this sandwich… Thanks from Food Mumbai Blog

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