Smørrebrød meets avocado toast
When we were in Copenhagen last month, we got served a lot of smørrebrød. That was THE thing that many people identify with Danish foods. The ironic thing is that's actually not their national dish. And I know this because they voted a few years ago and the winning dish was some odd fried-ish pork dish that no one really eats anyway. They tell me smørrebrød came in second place, but I think for those of us visiting, that's what we envision regardless.
Smørrebrød is at the core an open faced sandwich. It usually starts with a piece of buttered, dense rye bread (not pumpernickel rye like we have here). It's topped with butter and then something like cold cuts/meat/fish/cheese or other spreads. But the ones I saw always looked beautiful.
The more I think about it, smørrebrød is kind of like avocado toast. You pick a hearty base bread, creamy avocado on top, and add whatever toppings to balance it to your liking. Lemon, feta, hot sauce, egg...endless possibilities. So we married the two. Shrimp open faced sandwiches or, rejemad, are very popular in Denmark. We decided shrimp and avocado would be our fat and protein for this meal toast and we garnished with flavor enhancers like tomato powder (powder was also a very big thing in Copenhagen at the time) and microgreens with lime zest to brighten things up.
While true shrimp open faced sandwiches are made with tiny shrimp, we just went with what we had on hand. Because we needed to clean out the freezer. As always, the best ingredients you can get your hands on are ideal, but what's the point of not using what you have? What you probably don't have however, is the tomato powder. Obviously. We ordered our's on Amazon for a concentrated flavor boost, but you could also use chopped fresh tomatoes.
From a nutrition point of view, I love how filling and balanced this dish is. Whole grains have tons of fiber while avocado has healthy fats that keep you feeling satisfied. Shrimp is a nice alternative source of protein which again, will keep you full. Microgreens are packed with minerals and they've been on my radar forever (seriously here's a blog post from 2012 where I talk about microgreens). There's evidence they have more nutrients than the adult version of the same produce but more than anything, I like that they are a beautiful garnish and a way to work in greenery in an easy way (think about trying to do this with whole kale).
Chris and I styled these toasts in several ways just to show you that this recipe is highly flexible. Chop the shrimp. Slice it in half. Purée it. You can cut the avocado however you want. And because of that I think this recipe, or not very serious smørrebrød making is a fun hands on project. Not trying to minimize smørrebrød here. I understand that is sandwich art. But as an American novice over here, it's 'fun'.
AVOCADO SHRIMP TOAST: SCANDINAVIAN SMØRREBRØD
/// Ingredients ///
- hearty bread
- shrimp, cooked, deveined and peeled
- tomato powder (replace with fresh tomatoes if desired)
- lime zest
- lime juice
- sea salt
/// Directions /// Toast bread. Slice or mash avocado to visual presentation desired. Add shrimp. Dust with tomato powder or add chopped tomatoes. Top with lime zest, sea salt and microgreens. Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice if desired.
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.