But wait, there’s smørbrød!

Top your rye bread with Nordic flavors

Photo: Daytona Strong
Eating herring may or may not give you a longer life, but just in case, why not try it in this bold yet refined smørbrød? Fresh radish and dill atop herring and egg salad point to the changing seasons and offer a contrast—not only in texture and color but also in fresh versus preserved, a signal that winter is transitioning to spring.

Daytona Strong
Taste of Norway Editor

I read some years ago in The New Yorker about an elderly woman who attributed her longevity to eating herring. I’d like to think she was onto something. Even as a child I appreciated the bold flavor of pickled herring, savoring it like fish candy.

But while the punch of salt and vinegar may be pleasing, Scandinavians also value balance and restraint, as demonstrated in this smørbrød. Beginning with a simple egg salad carefully mounded on slices of buttered rye bread, it’s clear that the smørbrød will be a meal in itself. The intense flavor of pickled herring is there, as bold as ever, but softened on the bed of soft eggs.

Pickled Herring, Egg, and Radish Smørbrød
Adapted from Simon Bajada’s lovely book, The New Nordic: Recipes from a Scandinavian Kitchen (Hardie Grant Books, 2015)

6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled & finely chopped
3 tbsps. mayonnaise
salt, to taste
2 tbsps. butter
4 slices rye bread
8 ounces pickled herring fillets, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces, onions reserved if possible
4 radishes, sliced paper thin
Fresh dill, for garnish

In a small bowl, mix the chopped eggs and mayonnaise together with a fork. Give it a taste and add a little salt if necessary. Spread butter on the slices of bread. Spoon the egg salad evenly over them, then top with the pickled herring, including some of the sliced onion from the jar if you have them. Arrange the radish slices over the top and garnish with dill.

This article originally appeared in the Feb. 10, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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