Icebox cake-ify your sandwich
As I read the food blog Green Kitchen Stories the other day, I came across a very fun concept: the smörgåstårta. Essentially a massive savory layer cake filled with creamy sandwich fixings, a smörgåstårta is an undertaking. Green Kitchen Stories editors David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl often make reimagined versions of traditional Scandinavian recipes, like the smörgåstårta, which is Swedish in origin and also served in Estonia, Finland, and Iceland.
When putting together a smörgåstårta, planning the fillings is paramount. Frenkiel and Vindahl say that traditionally the sandwich-cake hybrid is filled with mayonnaise, cream cheese, whipped cream, dill, chives, salmon, and more. “It’s basically like a sandwich gone wild,” they write. For their version, Frenkiel and Vindahl made a few spreads with vegetarian ingredients like a pea-avocado mash, a beet-sunflower seed spread, and an egg-creme fraiche mixture. To make things more breakfast-y, I decided on an avocado layer, a smoked fish layer, and a mustardy-egg layer. Here’s how to assemble this monster sandwich:
For the avocado layer, mash 1 avocado with 2 tablespoons lemon juice, a splash of olive oil, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. For the fish layer, you’ll need a cream cheese that easily spreads, so whisk together ½ cup softened cream cheese with ¼ cup Greek yogurt. For the mustard-y egg layer, roughly chop 3 hard-boiled eggs and toss them with 3 tablespoons mustard, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, and plenty of salt and pepper.
Arrange a few slices of rye bread (crust cut off, slices trimmed to fit in the pan) into a plastic wrap-lined loaf pan (make sure there’s enough plastic overhang to wrap around the top of the pan. Spread the first layer of bread with the avocado mixture, then top it with a layer of thinly sliced cucumbers. Cover the cucumbers with another layer of bread, then spread that with a few dollops of the cream cheese-Greek yogurt mixture. Drape a few slices of lox over the cream cheese, and top with more of the cream cheese-Greek yogurt mixture, a handful of capers, and a sprinkle of thinly sliced scallions. Add another layer of bread and spread on the egg mixture. Top with a final layer of bread and cover with plastic wrap. Let the sandwich chill for at least an hour (or up to 5) to firm up.
Overturn the sandwich onto a platter and remove the plastic wrap. If you’d like, frost the top (and the sides, if you’re feeling adventurous) with a bit more of the cream cheese-Greek yogurt mixture. Arrange more thinly sliced cucumbers and a few slices of lemon on top, add add a sprinkle of fresh herbs like dill or parsley. Carefully cut the sandwich into slices and go to town.