Lifestyle / The Cookbook

More Bang for Your Butties


The Danes take their sandwiches seriously, as Danish cook TRINE HAHNEMANN knows all too well. She offers a tempting set to try for a summer lunch…

Trine Hahnemann

We eat open sandwiches in Denmark casually out of our lunch boxes or in the evening, when we don’t want to cook a warm supper; a quick bite if we don’t have time for more. Good rye bread is vital both for texture and taste. It has to be the very dense, dark, sourdough type.

My favourite approach is to slice rye bread, boil eggs, find some leftovers, then dig some tomatoes and cucumber out of the fridge and fetch the fruit bowl. Prepare the toppings then arrange them nicely on boards and serving dishes, and all sit around the kitchen table to assemble the madder of your choice.

Tomato, aubergine mayonnaise and parma ham

Image result for tomato aubergine open sandwich

Serves four


For the aubergine mayonnaise (makes 300ml, or enough for twenty servings):

  • 2 aubergines
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 organic egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 250ml flavourless cold-pressed oil

To serve

  • 4 slices of parma or serrano ham
  • 4 slices of rye bread
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 8 tsp aubergine mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp watercress


1 Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.

2 Cut the aubergines into medium-sized cubes, skin on, and mix with the olive oil. Season. Bake for 20 minutes. Leave to cool. Turn oven to 220C/Gas 7.

3 Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl, then add the mustard, lemon and vinegar and whisk together for five minutes. I prefer to use a food processor or electric hand whisk for this. Gradually add about half the oil, very slowly at first, whisking continuously, until thickened and emulsified. Continue adding the oil gradually, then whisk in the baked aubergines. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Store in a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to one week.

4 Meanwhile, place the ham slices on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, and cook for eight minutes. Take out of the oven and leave to cool, then crumble them with your fingers.

5 Place the bread slices on a worktop. Slice the tomatoes and place them on the bread, then place two teaspoons of the mayonnaise on each.

6 Divide the crumbled ham on top, decorate with the watercress and sprinkle with black pepper.

Russian salad on rye

Image result for russian salad on rye

“There are endless variations on Russian salad recipes. Mine contains freshly grated raw beetroot instead of boiled cubes. It’s sweet, fresh and spicy, and goes well with rye bread”

Serves four


  • 1 sour apple
  • 1 celery stick
  • 50g beetroot, coarsely grated
  • 4 tbsp full-fat crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp horseradish, grated
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • 4 slices of rye bread
  • Salted butter, for spreading
  • 4 tbsp cress


1 Chop the apple and celery into small cubes and put them in a mixing bowl, then add the beetroot. Fold in the crème fraîche, horseradish and lime juice, then season to taste with some salt and pepper.

2 Place the bread slices on a worktop and spread the butter evenly on each. Put two tablespoons of the Russian salad on each slice, then decorate with cress and sprinkle with pepper.

Pickled herring three ways

Related image

Serves four


  • 2 slices of rye bread

For curried

  • 4 plain pickled herring fillets
  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 apple, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
  • ½ small red onion, finely sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped dill

For spiced

  • 4 sweet and spicy red pickled herring fillets
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 2 tbsp cress

For plain

  • 4 plain pickled herring fillets
  • 1 shallot, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped chives


1 First prepare the curried herrings. Cut the fillets into smaller pieces. Put the crème fraîche in a bowl and mix in the curry powder. Mix the apple cubes with the capers, onion and lemon juice. Season. Add the herrings to the dressing and leave them in the fridge for at least an hour.

2 Place the rye bread slices on a cutting board and spread with butter. Divide the curried herring pieces over four slices of the bread. Decorate with dill.

3 For the spiced herrings, cut the red herrings into smaller pieces. Place the slices on four pieces of the bread, alternating with slices of egg, and top with cress.

4 Finally, for the plain herrings, cut the herrings into smaller pieces. Place the pieces on the remaining bread. Top each with two to three slices of shallot and sprinkle with the chives.

Peaches, blue cheese and balsamic syrup

Related image

“These smørrebrød can be served on sourdough toast”

Serves four


  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 peaches
  • 2 tsp salted butter
  • 4 slices of sourdough bread
  • 50g blue cheese (or use cheddar or parmesan)
  • Thyme or marjoram flowers (optional)


1 In a small saucepan, melt the honey, add the balsamic vinegar and let it simmer for two to three minutes.

2 Halve the peaches, remove the stones and cut them into wedges. In a frying pan, fry the wedges in the butter on both sides over a medium heat, until lightly brown.

3 Toast the bread, and place the peaches on the bread slices directly from the pan. Crumble the blue cheese on top. Lightly sprinkle with the balsamic syrup and decorate with herb flowers (if using).

TRINE HAHNEMANN is a Danish cook and author of The Scandinavian Cookbook, published by Quadrille.

For the latest Nordic news, follow @FikaOnlineBlog on Twitter.

This article has also been published in The Telegraph.

One thought on “More Bang for Your Butties

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