The Danish open faced sandwiches ‘smørrebrød‘ are slices of rye bread (rugbrød) coated with toppings such as cheese, fish, meat, liver pâté or sausage… that can be lunch, dinner or a snack. Smørrebrød are delicious, stylish (a well made smørrebrød is a true ‘work of art’) and fairly easy to make at home: thin slices of rye bread serve as base for a generous slather of butter (the word smørrebrød literally translates to ‘butter bread’), the sandwich is then topped with an eye-catching arrangement of greens, vegetables, meat, hard-boiled eggs, fish or cheese and a thoughtful selection of garnishes. Basically, a slice of bread (mostly likely rye) slathered with butter is smørrebrød in its simplest form, but this is usually just the starting point of a more elaborate open faced sandwich. Food culture in Scandinavia is largely based on bread: before potatoes arrived on the Scandinavian mainland in the early 1800’s, most people ate one to two pounds of bread a day. The origins of smørrebrød can be traced back at least as far as the Middle Ages: at that time, the open faced sandwich would have been rather simple, some kind of fat (butter or animal fat) spread on rye bread with leftover meat or vegetables piled on top.
A couple of our favourite recipes:
Begin with a slice of rye bread and spread butter on it. Add pieces of smoked salmon, slices of cucumber, salt and pepper, lemon juice. Top it with pickled red onion, a lemon slice, and dill.
Again, begin with a slice of rye bread with butter spread on it. Add slices of frikadeller, the Danish meatballs, pickles (or fresh cucumber), salt and pepper. Garnish with sliced radish, red onion, and micro greens.
You can find more recipes on Skandibaking.com