Scandi Open Sandwiches

The Danish national dish is arguably the humble open sandwich, or Smørrebrød, although they are big in both Sweden and Norway, too. In every town in Denmark you can find restaurants and speciality shops serving open sandwiches that look like little works of art. When making them at home, use good quality ingredients (as everything will be on show), and do try to get a well-balanced topping by incorporating protein, crunch, fresh notes and creamy indulgent flavours.

ScandiKitchen: Midsommar by Brontë Aurell


Rare Steak Open Sandwiches

In Denmark, thinly sliced roast beef is traditionally served on open sandwiches, but I love using thick slices of rare steak instead.


2 slices of dark rye bread, buttered

Handful of lamb’s lettuce/corn salad

200 g/7 oz. rare steak in the cut of your choice (cold or just rested), cut into thick slices

4 slices pickled cucumber

2 large tablespoons

Remoulade Sauce

Grated fresh horseradish or horseradish sauce

Freshly chopped parsley, to garnish 

Crispy onion rings

1 tablespoon plain/all-purpose flour

2 small onions, sliced into rings

125 ml/1⁄2 cup vegetable oil, for frying

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cooking thermometer

Makes 2 open sandwiches


To make the crispy onion rings, put the flour in a plastic sandwich bag and season with salt and pepper. Add the onions and shake until coated. Discard excess flour.

Fill a small saucepan one third of the way up with vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 130–140°C (265–285°F). If the oil is too hot, your onions will burn, and if it is too cold they will be soggy, so take care with this.

Add a third of the onions to the hot oil and cook for a few minutes or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat the frying process twice more with the rest of the onions.

Top both slices of the buttered rye bread with your salad leaves. Arrange the slices of steak on the bread, then add pickled cucumber slices and a dollop of remoulade sauce to each. Add the horseradish and pile on the crispy onions. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley to fi nish.


Chicken Open Sandwiches

This works just as well in a two-slice sandwich as it does on an open sandwich, but I just love serving this chicken topping in our café with the beautiful sprouted fennel seeds on top.


2 slices of sourdough or seeded crusty bread

A little cream cheese or butter, for spreading

4–6 slices cucumber, shaved very thinly lengthways on a mandoline

Sprouted fennel seeds, to serve

Chicken mixture:

200 g/7 oz. cooked chicken (I favour thigh or leg meat), shredded or cut into pieces

Handful of petit pois peas, podded, then blanched

Small 1⁄4 bulb thinly sliced fennel

80 ml/1⁄3 cup crème fraîche

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 spring onion/scallion, sliced

1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint

1 teaspoon freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Dash of vinegar

Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Makes 2 open sandwiches


Mix the ingredients for the chicken topping together and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Lightly toast your slices of bread and spread both with a little cream cheese or butter. Arrange the slices of cucumber on top. Spoon the chicken mixture over and scatter with the sprouted fennel seeds to serve.


Find more Scandinavian-style recipes in Brontë Aurell’s ScandiKitchen: MidsommarTo get more great blog posts like this one - direct to your inbox – be sure to sign up to our mailing list here.