Serve up a Scandinavian twist at your next party with these traditional open-faced sandwiches, known as smørbrød.
Smørbrød, Norwegian for “butter bread,” has been a longtime staple in Scandinavian culture. When industrialization boomed in the 19th century, factory workers and farmers could no longer return home for lunch, so they packed open-faced sandwiches. They smeared rye bread with butter or animal fat and topped it with leftovers from the night before, including meat, vegetables and boiled potatoes. In the 1920s, more elaborate versions of the open-faced sandwiches started appearing at lavish dinner parties and restaurants. Today, this Scandinavian staple is being reinvented stateside as people and chefs think of modern ways to combine ingredients. Here, we feature three smørbrød recipes from award-winning food writer, editor and recipe developer Lynda Balslev. “When it’s hot outside, we often eat smørbrød as a light al fresco meal,” she says. “They make great appetizers for parties.” Paired with a cold beer or Aquavit, these sandwiches are sure to be a hit at your next summer gathering.
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