Salmon Gravlax, Apple, and Crispy Kale Smorrebrod

Smorrebrod, Copenhagen, Gravlax, Kale, Apples
Salmon Gravlax, Apple, and Crispy Kale SmorrebrodMarcus Nilsson

Gravlax—cured, unsmoked salmon—meets crispy fruit and vegetable nubbins in this open-face sandwich.

Salmon Gravlax, Apple, and Crispy Kale Smorrebrod
Apple gives this open-faced Danish bread dish its delicious flavor.
Yield: makes 4
Time: 40 minutes

For the crispy kale and sauce:

  • 3 large leaves curly kale, torn into small pieces (2 cups)
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 12 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. neutral-flavored oil such as canola
  • 2 tbsp. aquavit
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 ½ tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. brown or muscovado sugar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 12 tsp. kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the apple salad and smorrebrod:

  • 1 tart apple, cored, halved, and thinly sliced (1 ½ cups)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced (1/4 cup)
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. salmon gravlax
  • 4 slices Danish rye bread (1/4 inch thick) or cut from a hearty wheat loaf (about ½ inch thick)
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Small fresh dill sprigs, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the crispy kale: Preheat the oven to 250°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, add the kale, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and salt, and toss to coat well. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer; bake until the leaves are just crispy but not too darkened, 15-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce, if using: In a medium bowl, add the neutral-flavored oil, the vinegar, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, dill, aquavit, sugar, mustard, salt, and black pepper to taste; whisk until the sugar dissolves. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper as desired.
  3. Prepare the apples: In a medium bowl, combine the apple slices and lemon juice, and toss to coat. Add the shallot and oil and a pinch each salt and pepper; toss to combine.
  4. If using the wheat bread, toast the slices: Preheat a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the bread slices and cook, turning once, until lightly toasted on both sides, 4 minutes total. (Bread should have a slightly toasted flavor but should not be tough.)
  5. Assemble the smorrebrod: Transfer the toasted bread or the untoasted rye slices to a clean work surface. Divide the butter among the toasts, spreading to coat. Top each toast with a few ribbons of the salmon, then layer on the apple slices and shallots. Finish with the crispy kale pieces and a few sprigs fresh dill for garnish. Season with freshly ground pepper, and serve with the sauce for drizzling if desired.