Friday, 9 May 2014

Goat Cheese & Avocado Open Sandwich

I ate my first open sandwich whilst visiting Denmark. It was fantastic - I sat out side a little cafe, all by myself and  'watched the world go by' whilst I ate - perfect.

All the Scandinavian countries present a number of meals this way and the Danish seem to a have elevated this to an art form & a national dish.

Smorrebrod - translates as 'butter bread or toppings bread' and includes numerous open sandwich combinations from minimal to lavish.

As one of the most happiest & relaxed nations - it was with some surprise that I read about the numerous rules the Danish have for their open sandwiches - for example one should never, ever, have herring on any bread other than rye bread, smoked salmon must be served on white, herring must be eaten first followed by other fish, the meat and then cheese.
You mustn't eat with your hands - only a knife & fork will do and above all you must toast frequently - no not the bread, rye or otherwise - but with Aquavit (a spirit based drink)  which has the added advantage of calming your nerves if your a smorrebrod rookie and just read the rules!!

This style of eating really appeals to me, it must be my long lost Danish roots, so here's my version of an open sandwich and I have probably committed numerous Danish 'faux pas' with this recipe but we enjoyed it and not a pickled herring or rye bread was insight!

(serves 2)

2 individual ciabatta rolls
1 avocado - stoned, peeled and cut into 8 slices
4 slices of goats cheese
Sun blushed tomatoes
Tomato paste
Olive oil
Few sprigs fresh herbs - thyme. basil, chives etc

Begin by cutting your ciabatta rolls in half and lightly toast - no not with aquavit but under the grill!!

Keep an eye on it & do not colour the bread.
Spread about a dessert spoon of tomato paste on each one.

Then assemble the other ingredients on top starting with the avocado followed by the sun blush tomatoes (about 3-4 on each slice) and then the goats cheese.

Finely chop the herbs, mix with a little olive oil and drizzle over the goats cheese. Pop back under the grill and warm through until the edges of the ciabatta start to colour & catch and the goats cheese browns slightly.

Serve with a salad and some pickle - we have a sweet chilli & tomato pickle that goes really well with this.

all I can say is

..........Nyde (danish for enjoy)

     ..............Skol  (with your aquavit)

        ...............and  Hygge (well being & happiness to you)

Printable Recipe

 Open Sandwich


A little note on Aquavit's

Also known as Akvavit, it is a spice spirit of 40% proof. Aquavit's has been produced in Scandinavia since 15th Century and is flavoured with caraway or dill. the name is derived from the Latin 'aqua vitae' meaning water of life.(similar to derivation of whiskey in Gaelic)

It is usually served in shot glasses and sipped slowly during festival times or served along side beer to accompany a meal.