Swedish Midsummer Recipes

The Gravlax Club Sandwich was featured at my recent Four Seasons Spa lecture on June 25, 2013: "Achieve Your Ideal Health & Weight While Juggling Your Crazy, Busy Life!"

Aquavit and Marcus Samuelsson’s Gravlax Club Sandwich
excerpted from “Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitution, Habits & Inspirations”
(June 2011, LifeLine Press)

This sandwich is such a popular item in Aquavit’s café that it is never off the menu. It combines the velvety textures of guacamole and gravlax, cured salmon (purchase or see recipe below), with the crispy nature of iceberg lettuce (or other greens) and great chewiness of whole grain bread. If you want to make this sandwich and don’t happen to have any gravlax on hand, you can substitute smoked salmon with equal success.

I’ve used this recipe at parties.  Just cut the sandwiches into smaller appetizer size sandwiches, into quarters, and place a tooth pick through all layers for easy grabbing.  It’s always a hit.

The Gravlax Club Sandwich as interpreted by The Four Seasons

Makes 5 sandwiches.

2 avocados
Juice from 2 limes
1/2 medium size red onion, finely chopped
1 medium-size ripe tomato, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
8 sprigs cilantro, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 thin slices of whole grain wheat or rye bread
5 thin slices of Gravlax
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce (or other greens)

1. Mash the avocado with a fork and add the limejuice. Add the chopped onion, tomato, jalapeno pepper, and cilantro and toss everything to mix well. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

2. Toast the bread slices lightly and let them cool.

3. Place a slice of gravlax on a slice of bread. Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of the avocado mixture over the gravlax and sprinkle with shredded iceberg lettuce. Cover with a second slice of bread. Repeat with the remaining bread slices and gravlax.

1 Gravlax Club Sandwich: Calories  300, Total Fat 15g, Saturated Fat  2g, Cholesterol  5mg, Sodium  740mg, Total Carbohydrate 38g, Dietary Fiber 15g, Omega 3 Fatty Acids 0.82 g, Protein  11g 

Salmon Filets sandwiched together to create Gravlax


Gravlax is salmon which is cured, that is, smothered in a dry preparation of salt, pepper, sugar and dill, and refrigerated for a few days. A Scandinavian staple since the middle ages (when it was salted and slightly fermented before refrigeration was invented), it is served with Swedish hard bread, on salads, with boiled potatoes, and almost always with plenty of dill and mustard sauce.

2-1/2 pounds fresh salmon (about 1 side of a salmon), cut in half
4 Tbsp Sugar
5 Tbsp Coarse Salt
1 Tbsp White Peppercorns, coarsely ground
1 Bunch Fresh Dill
Lemon and additional dill for garnish

Mix sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.

Place the salmon halves, skin side down, flesh side up, into a  shallow baking pan or cutting board. Evenly distribute the sugar, salt, and pepper mixture over both pieces. Place all of the dill on the flesh side of one fish half. Place the other half on top of the first half so that the flesh sides are together,  and the thick part of the top half lies on top of the thin part of the bottom half (see photo). Place in the shallow baking pan, and cover with plastic wrap, or into a large plastic bag. Keep in refrigerator for two to three days (at least 24 hours),while flipping every 12 or 24 hours.

To serve, scrape off the marinade, slice fish thinly and roll. Garnish with lemon pieces and dill. Serve with mustard sauce on the side. Serves 8 to 12.

Salmon, high in omega-3-fatty acids, is good for you!

Mustard Sauce

1-1/2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Dill
3 Tbsp Gulden’s Mustard
1 Tbsp Sugar
3 to 4 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

All ingredients should be at room temperature. Place mustard in a small bowl, add sugar. Blend in the oil slowly. Add the dill and mix thoroughly.

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