Scandinavian Open-Face Sandwiches

These Scandinavian open-face sandwiches are creative and delicate. They truly represent the flavors of Scandinavian cuisine; mostly savory with smoked, salty, pickled, and cured flavors and cooking methods.



For Smoked “Salmon” (Røkelaks)

4 large carrots
Sea salt, for coating
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons caper brine
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Big squeeze fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper

For Maple-dill mustard

1/4 cup maple mustard
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup chopped dill sprigs
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

For Scrambled “Eggs” with Chives (Eggerøre)

12 tablespoons vegan butter (like Miyoko’s or Earth Balance)
1 container (12 fluid ounces or 354 ml) Just Eggs
Handful of chopped chives
Salt and pepper

For Patè of mushroom and lentils (Leverpostei)

8 ounces (225 grams) mixed mushrooms such as button, portobello, and maitake, cleaned and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons vegan unsalted butter
1 small Vidalia onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups (400 grams) cooked green lentils
1 cup (140 grams) toasted walnuts or pecans
freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1 lemon
1 heaping tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
optional: 2 teaspoons Cognac or sherry
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For Norwegian Beet and “Herring” Salad (Rødbet og Sildesalat)

About 9 oz (250 grams) beets, roasted and peeled
About 9 oz (250 grams) eggplant
½ cup (1 dl) fresh orange juice
¼ cup (½ dl) fresh lemon juice
4 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 small red onion
Juice from ½ lime
1 medium green apple (like Granny Smith)
34 tablespoons chopped cornichons or pickles
½ cup (1 dl) unsweetened non-dairy yogurt
¼ cup (½ dl) vegan cream*
1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Juice from ½ lime
Sea or kosher salt, pepper, sugar to taste
2 tablespoons capers
A few sprigs of fresh thyme

For Mustard Pickled Herring (Sennepssild)

Mustard dressing:
2/3 cup (1½ dl) vegan yogurt
1/4 cup (½ dl)vegan mayo
3 tablespoons whole ground mustard (or 2 tbsp Dijon mustard)
1 teaspoon capers
A little fresh dill
1 tablespoon light syrup/maple syrup
2-3 tablespoons rice vinegar

For the “herring”:
250 grams (9 ounces) wild mushrooms, like Lion’s Mane, oyster, Trumpet, or chanterelles
1 shallot
½ cup (1 dl) water
2-3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons sugar
A little maple syrup

For “Egg” Salad (Eggesalat)

4 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ red onion, diced small
1 teaspoon capers
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons white distilled vinegar
1-2 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper
225 grams (8 ounces) extra-firm tofu, cut into ¼-inch (½ cm) cubes
A couple of pinches of celery seed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

For serving:
6 slices of whole-grain sandwich bread
Watercress or spring greens, optional
Pickled red onion, optional
Radish slices, scallions, optional


Smoked “Salmon” (Røkelaks)

Preheat the oven to 475°F and line a medium baking dish with parchment paper.

Coat the bottom with about a ¼-inch layer of salt, then place the whole carrots in the dish and sprinkle with a good amount of salt. Don’t worry, you won’t be eating all this salt in the final result.

Roast the carrots until easily pierced with a fork, but not mushy. The timing will depend on the size and freshness of your carrots. Check them, starting around 40 minutes – my very large carrots took 60-90 minutes. This step can be done in advance.

Make the marinade:

In a shallow dish or small bowl, combine the olive oil, rice vinegar, caper brine, tamari or soy sauce, paprika, lemon juice, and several grinds of freshly ground black pepper.

Remove the carrots from the oven and let cool.

Use your hands to rub off any excess salt. Use a knife to slice a thin strip off one side of the salty skin, and then use a peeler to peel the carrot into ribbons. If your peeler snagged on the soft carrot, that’s ok, just slice pieces as thinly as you can with a sharp knife. Place the strips in the marinade and toss to coat. Transfer to the refrigerator and marinate for 15-30 minutes.

Serve with bagels, cream cheese, cucumber slices, capers, chives, and/or dill.

If you have extra carrots, cover and refrigerate them in the marinade for up to 4 days.

Maple-dill mustard

Whisk mustard and vinegar together in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in oil to emulsify. Stir in dill, pepper, and salt.

Scrambled “Eggs” with Chives (Eggerøre)

Heat up the butter in a medium non-stick skillet. Shake up the container of Just Eggs and pour into the heated skillet. With a rubber spatula, continue stirring and scrambling the eggs, while adding in the chopped chives and sprinkle in a couple of pinches of kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve warm or room temperature.

Patè of mushroom and lentils (Leverpostei)

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, and saute, until the onions become translucent, 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and cook until they’re soft and cooked through, another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a food processor, combine the cooked lentils, nuts, lemon juice, soy sauce, rosemary, thyme, parsley, Cognac or sherry (if using), brown sugar, and cayenne. Process until completely smooth.

Taste, and add salt, pepper, and additional cognac, soy sauce, or lemon juice, if needed.

Pour the pâté into a serving bowl or small terrine and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.

Norwegian Beet and “Herring” Salad (Rødbet og Sildesalat)

Slice the onion into thin rings, place in a small bowl with the juice from ½ of your lime, season with kosher or sea salt, stir and let marinate for about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, slice your eggplant into ¼ inch thick (1/2 cm) slices, then into thin strips.

In a medium shallow pot, add the fresh orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, whole cloves, and cinnamon sticks and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and add the eggplant and let simmer for about 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool in the liquid.

Peel the roasted beets (I usually bake the beets for 1 hour at 400° Fahrenheit / 200° Celsius and I wrap them in foil with a little olive oil and kosher salt and maybe a sprig or two of thyme). Once peeled, dice small. Dice the apple and the cornichons/pickles into the same size and add all three items into a medium or large bowl. Fold in the reserved eggplant (remove the cinnamon stick and cloves).

In a separate bowl, whisk together the non-dairy yogurt, non-dairy cream (the easiest way to make your own cream is to add equal parts raw cashews and water into a high-speed blender and puree until creamy), Dijon mustard, the juice from ½ a lemon, salt, pepper and a little sugar to taste.

Add the cream mixture to the beet-apple-eggplant, and carefully mix together.

Garnish with pickled red onions, capers, and fresh thyme.

Stored in an airtight glass container in the fridge, the salad keeps for about 2 weeks.

For Mustard Pickled Herring (Sennepssild)

Mustard dressing:
Combine all ingredients and whisk well. Set aside.

For the “herring”:
Cut the mushrooms into wide strips.

Cut the shallots into thin rings.

Bring the water up to a boil with the vinegar, salt, a little pepper, and sugar. Adjust to get the right combination of salty/sweet/sour.

Add the mushrooms and shallot and bring to a boil. Combine well, then remove from heat and leave mushrooms and onions to steep in the liquid for about ½-1 hour.

Drain the mushrooms from most of the liquid, place into a bowl with the mustard dressing, and combine well.

Transfer to an airtight jar or container fitted with a lid.

Keeps for about one week in the refrigerator.

“Egg” Salad (Eggesalat)

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, onion, olive oil, mustard, nutritional yeast, capers, lemon juice, garlic, turmeric, salt, and several grinds of black pepper.

Mix in the tofu and then lightly crumble it with your hands, keeping some of the cubes intact. We’re going for the texture of egg salad, not scrambled eggs.

Stir in the celery seed, dill, and chives. Chill until ready to serve.

Assemble the sandwiches with watercress or spring greens, a scoop of the egg salad, and pickled onions, scallions, and radish slices, if desired.