Nordic Open Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwiches 1

This is a complete change of pace for me.  Not only because I’ve been immersed in wintery comfort foods for so long, but also because I rarely venture into the world of Nordic cuisine.  It’s been in the public eye in the last few years, partly because of  Danish chef and restauranteur René Redzepi.  He’s singlehandedly reinvigorated Scandinavian cuisine with clean, lean, innovative dishes that he presents with exquisite simplicity.  His creative menus utilize fresh, local foods, foraged from nearby woods and waters, and he has become one of the most influential chefs in the world.  These smoked salmon open sandwiches are an homage to that spare, cutting edge style, but funnily enough, they also look like they’d be right at home at a turn of the century tea party.   They’re ideal for spring entertaining…wedding and baby showers, Easter brunch, Passover, or just your first picnic of the season.   They’re basically spring on a plate…and couldn’t we all use a little bit of that on this last day of February?

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Minimal, clean, healthy, and mostly raw, this kind of eating is such a nice change from what I’ve been eating.  The bread is dense but very thinly sliced, so it’s also very low carb.  The layers are built up with an eye toward color and texture.  To start, the dark pumpernickel bread gets a quick toasting in the oven, then a lashing of freshly made dill mayonnaise.  I used my favorite 30-second method, which you can read about in the ORIGINAL POST — I and added a handful of dill for color and lots of grassy spring flavor.

Homemade dill mayonnaise homemade dill mayo 2

The mayo itself is worth the price of admission, you can use it on regular sandwiches, make deviled eggs with it, or use it as the base for tuna and chicken salads.  You could also substitute tarragon for the dill for a completely different flavor.  The secret is in the hand held blender…it turns an egg, oil, and a handful of dill into a glorious creamy mayonnaise instantaneously.  It’s a lot of fun to do, too.  I just make sure to use a pasteurized egg which is safe to eat raw.  You can usually find pasteurized eggs with the rest of the eggs,

Nordic Open Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwiches 3

Really this is one recipe that is just as much about aesthetics as it is about eating.  I topped each layered sandwich with an edible flower just for fun, but also because that is part of the Nordic foraging sensibility.  There are lots to choose from, including nasturtiums, pansies, roses, violets, and marigolds, just to name a few of the more common ones.  Micro greens are perfect for this kind of application because they are so small, they fit perfectly on the little slices of bread without overwhelming them.  Here I’m using micro kale, but they have all sorts of micro greens available.  Take your pick.  You should be able to find the thin bread, usually imported,  in the bread aisle, but ask if you have trouble, I found several different types of cocktail bread in the refrigerated section, too.  This kind of ultra thinly sliced and dense bread is essential to these sandwiches, don’t try to substitute regular bread, it just won’t be the same.

Nordic Open Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwiches 4

I’ve made these sandwiches quite dainty, but if you want to make these  heartier, use goat or cream cheese in place of the mayo, and maybe add some thinly sliced red onion, or a slice of boiled egg along with the salmon.  Obviously this concept is meant to be played with.  Thinly sliced cold steak would be amazing — just add creamed horseradish, onion, or delicate fried shallots for a completely different experience.  Mmmmm, I just talked myself into trying that one.

Nordic Smoked Salmon Open Faced Sandwiches 11

Nordic Open Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwiches

What You Will Need

  • thinly sliced pumpernickel or rye bread, sometimes called cocktail bread
  • butter at room temperature
  • homemade dilled mayonnaise (recipe below)
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • thin slices of smoked salmon
  • microgreens
  • edible flowers
  • lemon for garnish
  • dilled mayonnaise
  • 1 pastuerized egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup mildly flavored olive oil, also room temperature
  • a handful of fresh dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a squeeze of lemon


  1. Set oven to 400F
  2. Cut the slices of bread into smaller rectangles. You can make them bite sized, if you like. Spread a very thin layer of soft butter on each slice and toast in the oven for a few minutes until they just start to get crisp. This step is optional, you can also use the bread un-toasted.
  3. Spread a little dilled mayonnaise onto each slice of bread, then top that with a slice of smoked salmon.
  4. Add microgreens, and then season with a little salt and pepper. Garnish with an edible flower, and serve with small wedges of lemon.
  5. To make the homemade mayonnaise: Put the room temperature egg, oil and dill in a jar just large enough to fit an immersion blender. Put the blender down to the bottom of the jar, and turn it on, slowly raising the blade as it emulsifies the mixture. This will only take about 30 seconds. Once it turns to mayo, stop the blending. You can then stir in the salt and pepper, and a little lemon juice, if you like.
  6. See THIS POST for a more detailed step by step instructions.


Of course if you don't want to make the homemade mayonnaise, just add plenty of fresh chopped dill to jarred mayo. Put these sandwiches together as close to when you want to serve them as possible. You want the toast to be crisp and the greens fresh.

Nordic Open Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwiches 5

I feel healthier just looking at these!

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Note:  You can find EDIBLE FLOWERS in some grocery stores, but even better if you have them growing in pots or in your backyard.  Just be careful to avoid any blossoms that have been sprayed or treated with chemicals.

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33 Responses to Nordic Open Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwiches

  1. Samantha says:

    I came for your dill mayo recipe, plan to add honey to it to make a truly homemade version of a regional sauce (honey dill sauce) it’s the absolute best with just about anything haha

  2. Oh my – you have done my Norwegian family justice, honestly these are the prettiest open-faced sandwiches I have seen Sue! :D Didn’t even know you could eat those flowers! I only just went vegetarian a couple of months ago, but smoked salmon is literally the one thing I miss with all my heart, so tasty! x

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  8. Bellìsimas tostadas se ven muy elegante para celebrar debe estar muy rico,abrazos.

  9. Monique says:

    I cannot wait to make thses first day of violas/pansies..:)
    I pinned already..
    It’s the green..and coral and flowers:)
    I will want to have the German pre sliced moist packaged bread for this..
    Microgreens ..are an embellishment I cannot resist..
    Much more than dessert~.

  10. Joanne says:

    Somehow I’d never heard of Redzepi but if the reinvention of Nordic cuisine is all as inventive/delicious as these sandwiches…then I approve!

  11. These look beautiful and so appetizing. I absolutely love smoked salmon. The dilled mayo would work eel with many other ingredients too. Can’t wait to make these.

  12. I love pansies and these are gorgeous. When I was 15 I spent a summer in Denmark as an exchange student. One of my favorite things was window shopping the restaurants where you could see the smorrebord offerings of the day. They were gorgeous and even though my palate wasn’t quite there yet I do remember the fun of choosing and then devouring.

  13. trisha says:

    these looks so delicious and such lovely colours. love the flowers! x

  14. I came back to get another look at your cashew butter chocolate chip cookies and I was blown away by these beautiful Nordic finger sandwiches. They are almost to pretty to eat!

  15. Erin says:

    Saw this on Pinterest – so beautiful! Definitely need to make these for an upcoming girls’ brunch!

  16. Penny says:

    These are so creative and beautiful Sue. Love your photos too.

  17. That is so pretty! I love the use of the flowers and yes open faced sandwiches remind me of holidays in Scandinavia. Alas we didn’t get to Denmark but hopefully we will one day! :)

  18. Gaby says:

    Beautiful photos and very interesting recipe! Looking forward to try it!

  19. cheri says:

    This is so beautiful, I can see myself eating this along side of a nice glass of wine. Pinned.

  20. Love this recipe Sue! It is not only beautiful but so enticing. I bet the mayo is delicious. I enjoyed Nordic cuisine while in Iceland last Spring, in particular the smoked salmon. And of course since we are always on a similar recipe page, I have a recipe coming soon made with smoked salmon. Love it! Have a wonderful weekend. Hope you finally got all unpacked :)

  21. Those pansies and micro greens turned your sandwiches into works of art! They look so lovely, it’s almost a shame to eat them.

    • Sue says:

      They really look spectacular when you arrange different variations of the sandwiches all together on a tray. At least you need to snap a photo before you dig in!

  22. clare says:

    so gorgeous! I could definitely make a meal out of these…

    • Sue says:

      I know, for sure, but I would load them up a little heavier if I were eating them for lunch or dinner. I’m definitely making a sliced steak version of these asap :)

  23. Kate says:

    Just what these icy, wintery eyes (and spirit) needed.
    Absolutely gorgeous.

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