Smoked or cured salmon atop Swedish Oat Flatbread with hard cooked egg, fresh cucumber and dill is a simple and satisfying open-face sandwich.Jump to Recipe
History and Traditions of the Nordic Open Sandwich
The open sandwich is known by different names in the Scandinavian countries–Denmark as smørrebrød, Norway as smørbrød, Finland as voileipä, and in Sweden as smörgås. The word ‘Smørrebrød’ originates from the words ‘smør’ meaning butter and ‘brød’ or bread. Typically a whole-grain rye bread is spread with butter and topped with some combination of meats or fish, cheese, herbs and vegetables in a visually appealing fashion.
In the northern regions of the Nordic countries with harsh winters, much of the food had to be preserved, like crisp flat breads and cured, smoked, dried or fermented foods. With pickling and smoking becoming standard preservation techniques in Nordic culture, the resulting flavors led to wonderful combinations for all kinds of dishes and snacks. Abundant herring in the Baltic waters around Sweden and Denmark made pickling of the fish a necessary and celebrated staple as well as a popular sandwich topping. This led to many innovations with available foods used up in the form of an easy, hearty and nutritious meal or quick snack. Today this popularity prevails in Nordic culture, with the open sandwich found at breakfast, lunch, dinner, Fika time and holidays. The traditional Smörgåsbord translates loosely as “sandwich table” and is a tribute to this culinary icon.
Assembling the Smörgås:
This is my favorite go-to smörgås for midsummer and holiday times. I use my family recipe for Swedish Oat Flatbread as the base, however any sturdy, hearty rye bread or rye crisp would work, including my Seeded Scandinavian Crisps.
Place thin slices of smoked or cured salmon over the sauce.
Layer on a thin slice of hard cooked egg.
For a bite of freshness, I add thin slices of scalloped cucumber.
To do a scallop cut, I use a channel knife to cut off five long strips around the cucumber. This tool is also perfect for cutting citrus peel for twists.
Last is a sprig of fresh dill for flavor and visual appeal.
A platter of these Smörgås with Salmon and Sweet Mustard Sauce look so festive for any occasion!
They are also perfect for Fika time!
Salmon Smörgås with Cucumber and Sweet Mustard Sauce
- Channel knife, optional
- 12 pieces Swedish Oat Flatbread or thinly sliced hearty rye bread
- ¼ cup Sweet Mustard Sauce (see below)
- 6 ounces Smoked salmon or gravlax, thinly sliced
- 12 thin slices hard-cooked egg
- 12 thin slices English cucumber
- 12 sprigs fresh dill
- Arrange flatbread or rye bread slices on a large platter.
- Spread about 1 teaspoon Sweet Mustard Sauce on each piece.
- Place about ½ ounce salmon over the sauce.
- Add a slice of egg.
- Top egg with a cucumber slice.
- Garnish each smörgås with a dill sprig.
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours before serving.