The classic smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel

food, Sandwiches

bagel1This is one of my all-time favourite lunches; I would go as far as saying it’s the king of sandwiches. Smoked salmon and cream cheese are a winning combo, especially when spread over a soft, sweet bagel with a twist of black pepper and zing of lemon juice.

Beigel Bake on Brick Lane does an awesome version, for the equally awesome price tag of just £1.60. It’s the best I’ve tried.

I won’t go into how to make this, as it’s pretty obvious stuff. I will recommend Lidl though for the bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon. Best price I found.

So, go forth and find a grassy tunnock to sit on and eat your bagel beneath the sun’s warm rays.

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Swedish Salmon Salad on Rye

Swedish salmon salad on rye

Sandwiches

Swedish Salmon Salad on RyeEveryone seems to be going crazy for all things Swedish at the moment, and I’m jumping on the band wagon too. It was the Swedish Midsommar festival on Saturday 20th June, where groups of gorgeous, tanned, tall, aryan people with wild flower garlands in their hair gathered together for a picnic and a party. I have to admit, more than a little part of me wishes it was Swedish; what’s not to love about Ikea, Fika (coffee + cake + a chat) culture, that trademark androgynous design and of course the food.

At the Scandinavian Kitchen just off London’s Goodge street you can grab a filling lunch from a variety of small open sandwiches (Smörgåsbord) topped with crayfish, salmon, meatballs, egg or prawns, and all beautifully garnished. They are massively underrated in my opinion.

This one is an interpretation of something I picture Swedes eating in the summer, al fresco. The combination of smoked and cooked salmon is really good, adding an extra dimension to the flavour and the dill, spring onion, lemon, chives and capers set it alight. Rye bread can taste quite bitter, but it’s a perfect companion for rich salmon, which neutralises it enough. Just 2 or 3 small sandwiches are enough to fill you up at lunchtime.

As an open sandwich could potentially run into pitfalls mid-transit, I’d recommend putting a “lid” on top – aka another piece of bread, making it a conventional sandwich.

Ingredients (makes enough for 6 sandwiches):

1 big salmon fillet
Small packet smoked salmon
Handful of dill
Tspn capers
4 spring onions
lemon juice
Big dollop low fat mayonnaise
Black pepper
Handful chopped chives
Rye bread
Salad leaves
Cucumber

What To Do:

1. Preheat oven to 180 C, stick the salmon fillet on a baking tray and roast for about 15 minutes until cooked through. Cool thoroughly and flake.

2. Slice the smoked salmon into slivers, chop up the dill and spring onions finely, add to a bowl with the chives, capers, flaked salmon and mayonnaise.

3. Mix well, grind in some black pepper and some lemon juice. Spread the filling between 2 slices of rye bread and add the salad leaves and sliced cucumber. Wrap tightly and store in the fridge. The salmon filling will last for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Guacamole, Sweetcorn & Feta Pockets

Guacamole, Sweetcorn & Feta Pockets

Sandwiches

GuacamoleI have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like avocado, and thus guacamole. To me, it is heavenly and an absolute bonus that it’s full of vitamins E and C and mono-unsaturated fats (the good guys).

I was thinking about how I could incorporate guacamole into lunch, avoiding the rather tired tortilla chip accompaniment that we’re so used to seeing everywhere. To be fair, this isn’t exactly hard – as its presence makes most things better, but I had a look anyway and came across this: 21 Game-Changing Ways To Eat Guacamole which will certainly provide inspiration if you’ve ever had the same dilemma.

What I settled on is honestly delicious – I had to stop myself from tucking in there and then.  I filled a pitta with the lovely green stuff, some sweetcorn (because avocado and sweetcorn is a match made in food heaven!) and some feta cheese – the strong tangy flavour is a great contrast against the mellow, creamy avocado and sweetcorn (and a bit of salad for a nice crunch). Perfect.

Ingredients (makes 3 portions)

2 ripe avocados
Small bunch coriander
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 medium tomato/ whatever kind of tomato you have lying around
1 red chilli/or any kind of chilli, adjust amount according to the heat you want (optional)
Half a red onion
Feta cheese
Pitta breads
Can of sweetcorn
Salad

What To Do:

1. Cut each avocado in half and scoop out the flesh, discarding the stone. Everyone has their own way of doing this, but I like to run a knife between the skin and flesh around the outside and then slice and cube the inside, so it all falls out.

2. Chop up the red onion very finely, and the chilli and coriander. Pound the tomato in a large bowl.

3. Add the onion, chilli, coriander and avocado and squeeze over the lime juice. Start mixing with a fork or potato masher. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You don’t need to pound it completely to a paste, it’s quite nice when not fully mashed and left a little rustic.

4. Put the pitta in a toaster for a minute or two, and then run a knife along the top to open up the pocket. Layer the guac, crumbled feta, sweetcorn and salad in the pitta. Top with a final flourish of coriander leaves if feeling fancy, then package up for lunch the next day.

NOTE: To keep the guacamole fresh, place one of the avocado stones in the centre, cover with clingfilm and keep in the fridge.