Ham Smørrebrød with Italian Salad: A Light Lunch for Stylish Summer Dining

1 serve

15 minutes



Creamy Italian Salad

  • 1 medium carrot, diced, steamed and cooled
  • 3 heaped tbsp. peas, steamed and cooled
  • 1 heaped tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 heaped tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper, to season

Ham Smørrebrød

  • Knob of spreadable butter
  • ½ thin slice of Danish rye bread
  • Handful of salad leaves
  • 4 slices of cold, cooked ham
  • 1 heaped tbsp. Italian salad
  • 2 pickled white asparagus spears
  • 2 cucumber batons
  • 1 slice of tomato
  • Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish


Jump to Recipe
Ham Smørrebrød with Italian Salad: A Light Lunch for Stylish Summer Dining

‘Smørrebrød’ is the Danish word for open sandwiches, and these light meals are a culinary staple across Denmark. They’re as appetising as they are visually appealing, with small slices of rye bread covered in delicious, artfully arranged toppings. Ham smørrebrød with Italian salad is not only one of the simplest kinds of Danish open sandwich to make but also one of the most popular, thanks to its readily available ingredients and mild, creamy flavour.

Following our easy ham smørrebrød recipe is the perfect way to learn the art of the Danish open sandwich. Satisfying without being too ‘heavy’ on your stomach, ham smørrebrød are ideal in warm weather, especially when eating outdoors or sitting at your desk at work. Pair your smørrebrød with your favourite drink, served in one of our chic double wall glasses or handy travel mugs, designed to keep beverages at their optimum temperature for longer.

Smørrebrød are a sophisticated alternative to conventional sandwiches – it’s not unusual to see them served in stylish restaurants in Denmark, where they’re sometimes enjoyed with glasses of schnapps or beer. As smørrebrød feature generous amounts of toppings, you’ll want to eat them with a knife and fork rather than your fingers.

The foundation of any good smørrebrød is Danish rugbrød (rye bread), which is nuttier and denser than wheat-based loaves. A little goes a long way. For your ham smørrebrød, you could buy a rye loaf from an artisan bakery or bake your own, using a traditional Danish rye bread recipe. Baked ham is an excellent choice; alternatively, select a smoked variety for a stronger flavour. If you avoid meat, don’t worry: vegetarian ‘ham’ will work well here too.

With this recipe, we celebrate our Danish heritage (the Bodum® story began in 1940s Copenhagen). Even the Italian salad, which undoubtedly sets ham smørrebrød apart from any other ham sandwich you’ve tasted, hails from Denmark. Its name refers to the fact that its colours are reminiscent of Italy’s green, white and red flag.

Now you know the facts, it’s time for your journey through the wonderful world of smørrebrød to truly begin.

Step by Step

Creamy Italian Salad

  1. Place the carrot and peas in a mixing bowl and stir.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise and Greek yogurt, then season to taste with the salt and pepper. Stir until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the creamy mixture to the carrot and peas then stir thoroughly to complete your delicious Italian salad.
    Top tip: After making the smørrebrød, you can transfer any leftover Italian salad to a suitable container, such as an airtight plastic box, and refrigerate it. The salad should last for around four days (check it daily to be sure it’s still fresh). 

Ham Smørrebrød

  1. Spread the butter evenly over the bread and decorate one corner with the salad leaves.
  2. Gently fold each slice of ham in half. Carefully arrange the folded slices so that they completely cover the bread, with just a little of the salad leaves still visible.
  3. Spoon the Italian salad onto the centre of the ham. Lay the asparagus diagonally across it.
  4. Balance the cucumber batons on top of the asparagus to create a cucumber ‘tower’. Lean the tomato against one side of the tower.
  5. For the perfect finishing touch, garnish the smørrebrød to taste with the parsley.


More Classic Smørrebrød Toppings to Try

Our Danish ham smørrebrød recipe is wonderfully simple to make – and easy to adapt too. For example, Italian salad makes an excellent partner for sliced salami, as well as ham.

There are many other traditional smørrebrød toppings to enjoy. Cheese with radish, roast pork with red cabbage, roast beef with horseradish, salmon with asparagus, and potato salad are some of the most popular. They’re a brilliant way to liven up your lunch!

We’d love to hear about your smørrebrød creations – why not tell us about them on the Bodum® Instagram or Facebook page?

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©bodum®. all rights reserved.