This post is made in partnership with Kvarøy Arctic Salmon
Spring is here and the garden is beginning to bloom. The first of the chives arrived, their green stalks rising as a cluster amidst the low-lying grass. These are the days, with the sun shining down on our cheeks, that call for a simple and satisfying lunch outdoors in the garden, and I couldn’t think of anything more suitable than a salmon open-faced sandwich adorned with spring flavors.
Open-faced sandwiches, smørbrød, are a common breakfast and lunch fare in Norway, typically consisting of a slice of hearty grain bread topped with anything from cheeses and pâté to cold meats and smoked fish. While often very simple, I wanted a little more depth to these sandwiches.
The quality of the fish is key to creating a truly mouthwatering meal. The salmon I use is from family-run Kvarøy Arctic, where it is farmed in the cold Arctic waters just off of Norway’s western coast (learn more about them here). The bright flavor and texture of their salmon is the real star here, and a quick sear on the pan with some salt and pepper is all it needs. Toasted bread gets a good spread of whipped goat’s cheese before a layer of juicy salmon pieces goes on top. Fresh radish slices and a drizzle of homemade chive oil round it all off, offering a nice balance to the seedy bread, tangy goat cheese, and rich salmon. Each bite is a welcome of spring connecting the garden and the sea.
Salmon Open-Faced Sandwiches with Radishes & Chive Oil (smørbrød med laks)
Makes 2 breads
For the chive oil:
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) rapeseed oil
- ½ cup (15 g) fresh chives
For the whipped goat cheese:
- 3 ounces (80 g) soft goat cheese (fresh chevre without the rind), at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
For the smørbrød:
- 1 tablespoon mild-flavored oil
- 1 Kvarøy Arctic Salmon filet
- 2 slices of your favorite hearty bread, toasted
- 2 radishes, thinly sliced
- Chopped fresh chives, to garnish
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
For the chive oil, in a blender, add the oil and fresh chives and blend on low. Gradually increase the speed and blend for about 1 minute or until fully combined. Using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, strain the chive oil into a jar. Set aside.
For the whipped goat cheese, in a medium bowl, combine the soft goat cheese and heavy cream with a fork and whip until fully incorporated.
In a small frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the salmon filet with salt and pepper. Add the filet to the pan, skin side down, and cook, undisturbed, for about 4 minutes before turning and cooking for another 3 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked to your preference. Flake the salmon into bite size pieces.
To assemble, smear the whipped goat cheese on top of the toasted breads. Top each bread with the salmon, radish slices and some fresh chives to garnish. Drizzle some of the chive oil on top then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Serve immediately while warm.
Store the leftover oil in a cool and dark spot, and mix before using.