On these hot summer days, I just don’t feel like cooking. An open face sandwich and a side salad usually make a great lunch or dinner. No stove required! My cool and refreshing Open Face Smoked Salmon Sandwich hits the spot on a hot day, and won’t heat up your kitchen. And it’s a great opportunity to use some fresh dill or other fresh herbs from your garden or your local farmer’s market!
This sandwich is so easy and elegant that your dinner guests will think you’ve slaved all day in the kitchen. And along the “elegant” theme, I like to use creme fraiche to lighten up an otherwise heavy cream cheese spread. You can find creme fraiche at your local grocery store, usually in the dairy section, and sometimes in the specialty cheese section.
Softened cream cheese and creme fraiche are whisked together with freshly squeezed lemon juice, finely chopped fresh dill and minced shallots. The cream cheese mixture is slathered over thick slices of soft pumpernickel bread. Whole Foods Market carries a large round loaf of pumpernickel in the bakery section. If you don’t see any fresh pumpernickel loaves, be sure to ask at the bakery counter. They’re spectacular. You could also use a thinner sliced and more dense version of pumpernickel bread with a similar result.
And finally, the crowing glory: Smoked salmon slices. Layer some smoked salmon slices over the herbed cream cheese mixture. Top with a few sprigs of fresh dill and a few minced shallots.
Serve these open face sandwiches alongside a ripe tomato, arugula, and tarragon salad with my Tarragon Balsamic Dressing.
You can also trim the crust from the pumpernickel bread and cut it into squares for a different presentation.
Try a cornmeal pancake as a base to this sandwich.
It’s a no-cook summer lunch or dinner! Enjoy!
From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….
Open Face Smoked Salmon Sandwiches
6 oz cream cheese, softened, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 c creme fraiche
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 T finely chopped fresh dill
1/4 c minced shallot, 1 T reserved for garnish
salt and pepper, to taste
4 large slices pumpernickel bread, sliced 1 inch thick
8 oz smoked wild salmon
fresh dill sprigs
1. Whisk together the softened cream cheese and creme fraiche.
2. Stir in the lemon juice, chopped fresh dill, and most of the minced shallot.
3. Season the cream cheese mixture with salt and pepper. The mixture should be creamy but not stiff or runny.
4. Divide the cream cheese mixture amongst the four slices of pumpernickel bread. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the bread slices.
5. Divide the smoked salmon amongst the four slices of bread.
6. Garnish the smoked salmon sandwiches with the dill sprigs and a sprinkling of minced shallot.
Serves 4. Offer with a side salad of ripe tomatoes and peppery arugula with my Tarragon Balsamic Dressing. Assembled sandwiches can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, unstacked, in a tightly sealed container.
Variations: Use fat free cream cheese. Substitute sour cream if you can’t find creme fraiche. Use parsley or tarragon instead of dill. Use your favorite bread instead of pumpernickel. Try a cornmeal pancake as your base instead of the bread. And you can substitute thinly sliced ham, turkey, or other cold cut for the smoked salmon.
www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2014)