Total Time
40mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 10 mins

Though Denmark travel guides characterize smørrebrød as an open-face sandwich, food editors Melissa Roberts and Maggie Ruggiero found that this national favorite is somewhere between that and an oversize canapé, with a few carefully chosen ingredients arranged generously on top (often to the point where the bread is no longer even visible). Here, whittled down to bite-size, it's an elegant hors d'oeuvre that retains the Danish spirit; caraway butter complements the classic rye base, and lightly fried beets and sweet onion are an alluring counterpoint to the smoked salmon. From Gourmet magazine, March 2007, by Melissa Roberts and Maggie Ruggiero. Special equipment -- an adjustable-blade slicer, a deep-fat thermometer, and an electric coffee or spice grinder. Posted for ZWT6.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 large beet (6 ounces)
  • about 4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed, toasted and cooled
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 18 teaspoon salt
  • 14 lb thinly sliced smoked salmon, finely chopped
  • 13 cup finely chopped sweet onion such as vidalia onion
  • german-style rye bread (4 thin 3 1/2-inch-square slices German-style rye bread or 6 to 8 rye crispbread crackers) or crispbread cracker (4 thin 3 1/2-inch-square slices German-style rye bread or 6 to 8 rye crispbread crackers)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives (optional)

Directions

  1. Peel beet, then cut into very thin slices (not paper-thin) with slicer. Cut slices into 1/8-inch-wide strips with a knife.
  2. Heat 1 inch oil in a 2- to 2 1/2-quart heavy saucepan until thermometer registers 320°F Fry beet strips in 4 batches, stirring frequently, until frizzled, about 1 1/2 minutes per batch. (Strips will brighten slightly.) Transfer beets with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. (Beets will crisp as they cool.) Return oil to 320°F between batches.
  3. Pulse caraway seeds in grinder until finely ground. Transfer to a small bowl, then stir together with butter and salt.
  4. Mince together salmon and onion.
  5. Spread a thin layer of caraway butter on 1 side of each bread slice, then top with salmon mixture (about 1 heaping tablespoon per slice) and spread evenly.
  6. Cut slices in half, then cut each half crosswise into 3 pieces. (If using crackers, cut crosswise with a large sharp knife to make a total of 24 equal pieces.) Sprinkle with chives (if using) and frizzled beets.
  7. NOTE: Frizzled beets can be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature. Recrisp up to 2 hours ahead on a baking sheet in a 300°F oven 3 to 5 minutes. If beets are not crisp once cooled, return to oven briefly.