Take your lunchtime sammie up a notch with this elegant version, inspired by Danish smørrebrød.
These open sandwiches remind me of my Danish family and the brief time I spent with them in Copenhagen over 10 years ago. These sandwiches, or smørrebrød, are traditionally made with dark rye bread piled high with toppings that may include cured meats, pickled herring, pâté or smoked fish, accompanied by cheese, sliced egg, pickled beetroot and cucumber, to list a few. The robust, dense, slightly nutty flavour of the rye bread is key to a good Danish smørrebrød and while Danish rye is not commonly found here in NZ, a good seeded rye sourdough makes a wonderful substitute. My version is topped with a generous spread of goat’s cheese followed by grated beetroot flecked with thyme and studded with toasted walnuts that lend a wonderful crunchy texture. If you don’t have or can’t find rocket flowers, use torn rocket leaves or even parsley in their place.
BEETROOT & GOAT’S CHEESE OPEN SANDWICHES
Serves 4 as a light lunch
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons orange juice
- 55g walnuts, toasted, roughly broken up (I broke them up with my fingers)
- 250g beetroot
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 75g goat’s feta
- 75g mascarpone
- 3 tablespoons milk
- zest of 1 large orange
- 4 slices seedy sourdough bread, lightly toasted
- rocket flowers, or a few torn rocket leaves, to serve
Combine the sugar, vinegar and orange juice in a little bowl, season with a good pinch of sea salt and mix to combine. Set aside.
Peel the beetroot then grate into a small bowl. Scatter over the fresh thyme then pour over the dressing.
In a small bowl, mash together the feta, mascarpone and the milk until smooth. Add the orange zest, season with a generous grind of black pepper and mix again.
Divide the goat’s cheese among the four pieces of toast, top with the beetroot then serve garnished with rocket flowers or leaves.