In preparation for our upcoming trip, I’ve been experimenting with Danish food and trying my hand at the Smørrebrød (originally smør og brød, meaning “butter and bread”). As you may know, these open-faced sandwiches consist of a buttered rye bread (rugbrød) and pålæg (“that which goes on top”). The toppings range from meats and fish, to veggies, cheeses and other spreads. I think the big draw to these is not only their simplicity, to showcase the fine-quality ingredients, but also their decorativeness, which has shaped their international reputation. According to Wiki: “A slice or two of pålæg is placed on the buttered bread and decorated with the right accompaniments to create a tasty and visually appealing food item.” YUM
Here are my versions of the Smørrebrød. I found this great “European-style” rye bread at Trader Joe’s, of all places. It’s packed with cracked rye, crushed whole wheat, raw hulled sunflower seeds, and flax seeds. I’ve practically swapped out my normal bread for this one and love eating it with homemade hummus and almond butter.
Tuscan Tuna (or chicken) Smørrebrød
Canned tuna in water, low-sodium
Artichoke hearts, marinated or in water
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Rye bread (rugbrød)
Do ahead: Drain tuna and pat try with paper towel. Shred tuna (or chicken, if using) and place in a medium bowl. Chop artichokes, pat try with paper towel, and place in bowl with tuna. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Chop fresh parsley and add to mixture, stirring well and refrigerating for a couple of hours to allow flavors to come together.
Toast bread and arrange on plates. Top with a layer of sliced ripened tomatoes, getting rid of extra moisture. Scoop tuna mixture on top and arrange sliced olives for garnish. Remember, presentation counts!
Other great topping ideas: Hummus & Red Pepper, Pate & Gouda Cheese, Prosciutto & Mozzarella, Cream Cheese & Cucumber, Tomato & Basil, Boiled Egg & Goat Cheese (above), Smoked Salmon & Tomato, Butter & Salted Radish, Pork & Giardiniera (pickled veggies)