I’m still reminiscing about that trip to Copenhagen! I knew before we crossed the pond that I would have to try smørrebrød, the quintessentially Danish open-faced sandwiches that are stunning both in looks and taste. These sandwiches are Scandanavian style in food form – restrained but luxurious, with every component carefully placed. While the classic is pickled herring, these days smørrebrød are made with anything under the sun, meaning that they’re a great opportunity for creativity and recipe development. Here, I’m sharing an easy recipe for a smørrebrød based on smoked salmon and capers.
This is a pretty basic recipe, so I’ll keep it brief. The combo of smoked salmon, egg, red onion, capers, and dill is a classic cold appetizer spread. It’s often served with cream cheese like bagels and lox, but I went with creme fraiche for something a bit lighter.
How to hard boil an egg – There are a million different opinions about hard boiling eggs available on the internet. Before this recipe, I would start my eggs in cold water and allow them to come to a boil together. But recently, I read this article on Serious Eats which makes the case for dropping cold eggs directly into boiling water. It has many other ideas about boiling eggs that I recommend reading, but I switched to this hot start method because it is supposed to make the eggs easier to peel (maybe true based on this one test), but also, it should be more reproducible. If you think about it, putting an egg into boiling water should cook in exactly the same amount of time every time, because the water is at a constant temperature. In contrast, the amount of time it would take my egg to cook starting in cold water would depend on the amount of water in the pot – a small amount of water would heat up faster while a lot of water would heat slower. It seems like this would make the doneness of the egg harder to predict, so I like the boiling water method.
Below, the recipe:
- Thin slices of bread, I used ciabatta (the Danish would use a dark rye)
- crème fraiche
- smoked salmon
- hard boiled egg, diced
- ¼ red onion, small dice
- capers, chopped
- Chopped dill
- Sea salt
- Cut the bread into whatever shape you desire and top with a smear of crème fraiche. Add a slice of salmon, some egg, onion, capers, and dill. Sprinkle with sea salt before serving.
This was really so easy and tasty. This classic combination of ingredients did not disappoint, and eating little food just makes me feel so glamorous! If I were making this again I would get the right kind of bread, as it is important for both texture and has far fewer holes for ingredients to fall through. Also pictured are a smørrebrød of remoulade topped with potato salad, and a smørrebrød of raspberry jam and brie. Give it a try yourself!