The danish Smørrebrød, or „Open (faced) Sandwich” actually has nothing to do with a sandwich as we know it. The Danish eat these sandwiches for lunch and they use fork and knife instead of their hands. That’s with good reason because the bread is garnished with a lot more than we are used to.
No doubt, the Danish are meat and seafood lovers, which is mostly due to the economic importance of farming in Denmark. That’s why you can find everything a Danish (or generally meat lover’s) heart could wish for on a Smørrebrød – from salmon to roast beef. But there are so many possibilities for plant-based spreads which are delicious, too. After my weekend in Copenhagen I got really inspired by the Scandinavian way of garnishing sandwiches and experimented with all kinds of combinations. I think, everyone is going to make a find among my top 5 creations: very simple or fancy, rather sweet or savory…for breakfast, lunch, dinner and in between.
I usually have some avocado with my bread, as in the first recipe. Not only does it taste wonderful, it is very simple and quick to make. Then there are these days where I really crave something sweet. This is when my almond butter pear spread comes in. It’s the simplest and also quickest among my Smørrebrød recipes. If you’re looking for an alternative to conventional cheese, you should try the creamy, savory Cashew “Cheese” Spread. Another savory is the pepper tomato combination, which you could also use in your salad (instead of salmon or ricotta). If you don’t want to decide on just one taste, try the beetroot spread. The pairing of sweet beetroot with nutty sesame paste just works. If you’d rather have it a little sweeter, simply use less of the Tahini.
Creamy Avocado with Pepitas
When I came back from my semester abroad in Mexico, avocados were only known as guacamole (if at all) in Germany. This is why people would frown at me when I spread my bread with that fruit. Today it’s hip…
There are not many words needed for this one, I guess. This is just my favorite way to eat the nowadays super popular avocado toast.
- 1 avocado
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- a dash of salt & pepper to taste
- a dash chili to taste
- 1 tbsp pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
Mash the avocado with the back of a fork. Add lemon, salt & pepper and mix to combine.
Spread over the bread and top with chili, pepitas (if desired). Eat right away or keep in the fridge for up to a day.
Pepper Tomato Spread
- 1 cup sunflower seeds (100 g)
- 1/2 cup bell pepper (about half of a bell pepper) (70 g)
- a handful dried tomatoes (30 g)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp dried herbs (I use Herbes de Provence)
In a food processor (or blender), blend sunflower seeds until you end up with sunflower meal. Add all the other ingredients and blend until well combined.
Spread over the bread (or add to a salad). Keeps well in the fridge for several days.
Don't use any salt before tasting since dried tomatoes tend to be very salty already.
Almond Butter & Pear
Simple, yet so delicious!
- 1 tbso almond butter
- 2-3 slices of a pear
- a dash of cinnamon
Simply spread the almond butter over the bread and top with sliced pear and cinnamon.
Cashew „Cheese” Spread
- 1 1/3 cups raw unsalted cashews (180 g)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 small clove garlic (or ½ tsp powdered garlic)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- optional walnuts for garnishing
Soak cashews in a bowl with water for about 2 hours. Drain and put in a blender. Together with 1/2 cup of water and all the other ingredients, mix until creamy.
Spread over the bread and garnish with some walnuts. Keeps well in the fridge for several days.
Beetroot Tahini Spread
- 4 small-medium beetroots, cooked (265 g)
- 1 tbsp tahini (sesame paste) or less to taste
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp almond milk (or other plant based milk)
- a dash of salt and pepper to taste
- fresh herbs for garnishing (I use fresh rosemary)
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until creamy.
Spread over the bread and garnish with rosemary (or other fresh herbs). Keeps well in the fridge for several days.
Most commonly, I love to have my bread with some avocado or almond butter. Simply because it is most convenient compared to the other ones which are a little more time consuming to make. On the other hand, once made in big batches, it allows me to be lazy for the next few days.
Btw the recipe of the bread that I regularly make myself is going to be up on the blog soon. It gets pretty close to the rye bread the Danish typically use for Smørrebrød. After baking, I slice the loaf and place the slices in the freezer until I want to eat them. This way I don’t need to bake my own bread too often which keeps things easy. Whenever I want to eat some bread, I simply defrost some slices in my toaster and enjoy them with one of these lovely spreads.
Find out what else Denmark has to offer besides Smørrebrød here. (Blogpost coming soon)