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What to serve with gravlax for dinner?

My boyfriend and I scored a lovely piece of Alaskan salmon and plan to make it into gravlax for a small dinner party this week. But we need some guidance, lacking any swedish background, in what to serve with it....This is as a main course, not an appetizer.

I saw some suggestions of a cucumber salad, dark bread, a mustard dill sauce and deviled eggs. But seemed like not enough? Maybe a warm red potato salad? Other suggestions?

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    1. In Sweden, it's usually served as an appetizer. In fact, I don't recall ever seeing it as a main.

      Potato salad would be fine. Or you could make another staple of the Swedish smörgåsbord, Janssons Frestelse (Jansson's temptation), a casserole of potatoes, onions, anchovies and cream.

      1 Reply
      1. re: carswell

        I think cheese boy's and carswell's suggestions are good. I'd also consider some kind of vinegar-dressed red cabbage salad/slaw, and if you go with the beet salad on cheese boy's link, I'd definitely sub roasted fresh beets for the canned. I think you want acidic/pickled type vegetable sides to serve as foils for the richness of the salmon and dairy items typical of a Scandinavian spread. Small Swedish meatballs would also be good, and these could be held in a slow cooker or pot with a sterno, and don't forget the lingonberries. For desert, there's a simple roux-based Norwegian pudding called rommegrot that is very good. It's traditionally served at Christmas sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, but I think it would be easy to put a summer twist on it by serving it layered parfait-style with fresh berries and mint.

      2. When we could dig/obtain really new potatoes, them (boiled), gravlax, and butter for the spuds made a fine, fine meal.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Joebob

          I agree, Joebob, but don't forget the fresh dill on the potatoes!

        2. As a demi-Finn, I've never encountered this as a main. That said, I'd say boiled new potatoes dressed with salt, pepper, butter, but especially dill, as passadumkeg notes. (I always think of dill as Finnish parsley.)

          I like Jansson's Temptation, but I think that it might be a bit heavy now that the weather is turning quite warm. I'd prefer something lighter, like marinated cucumber, beets, or mushrooms (more a Karelian thing, I think), or shredded carrots marinated in orange juice, or radishes (parboil, cool, thinly slice, marinade in a vinaigrette). Actually, if you put a bit of each on the plate, it would be quite colourful.

          To drink: lager (Finnish or Swedish, if you can get it... Danish, in a pinch, I suppose), or a simple dry German wine.

          2 Replies
          1. re: hungry_pangolin

            Cuke and onion sour cream salad, rapu or crayfish and dependant on the group icy Akkovit or vodka. Peasant bread. Muustaleippa or black bread.

            1. Not at all Swedish:

              Thinly sliced for nigiri.

              As a layer in oshizushi; "pressed" sushi. You don't need a special box - you can do the same thing in a plastic lined bread or casserole pan. Easy to do.

              In a roll, commonly with cream cheese. Chives and/or avocado are great in them as well. Do an inside-out roll and roll around toasted sesame seeds.

              Sandwiches on pumpernickel or seeded rye bread, with cream cheese and fresh dill.

              Fancy: Rossetes of thinly sliced smoked salmon with a tiny dollop of caviar in the middle of each one, with a thin yogurt, creme fraiche, or sour cream based sauce with fresh dill in it, with pumpernickel, rye, or sourdough bread.

              There's more, but I have to go...

              1 Reply
              1. re: Richard 16

                Thanks all for the good suggestions!

              2. I'm married to a Swede and have never seen it as a main. In fact, given the flavor and texture, I think it's best as in starter quantities and not as a main.

                I'd reconsider serving it as a main, and serve it as a starter. My mother in law will create open face sandwiches with rye bread covered with creme fraiche with a bit of mustard, then the sliced gravlax and sprigs of dill. I'd serve it with a traditional Swedish main course, like Beef Rydberg and boiled new potatoes. Or serve it as a part of a smorgasbord with some ham and Swedish meatballs (I really love Marcus Samuelsson's nontraditional version that you can find on foodtv.com).

                1. Well, in our house, we would have it with new potatoes [don't forget the dill and the butter], crisp bread, cheese, beet salad, TONS of pickled herring, a bit of liver pate, maybe a green salad and mazarine for dessert. oh and cucumber salad is nice too but I am way too lazy to do the eggs. Okay maybe NOT the way its done in Stockholm but hey, we live[d] in Seattle [LA] and thats the way we do it here. Makes a darn fine buffet dinner party meal if you ask me.

                  Rommegot is good with berries. You might also try some pound cake with berries?

                  Seriously, do it in a way that you and your friends will enjoy it.

                  1. smoked gravlax is typically served on its own, or with toast. grilled gravlax, on the other hand, comes with senapssill (mustard sauce) and dill-potatis (dill potatoes). other frequent accompaniments: creamed spinach (w/grilled) or creme fraiche with caviar on toast points (w/smoked).

                    1. Straying from the traditional use of gravlax, I used the salmon in a more traditional english/asian fusion dish and it worked really well. I simply sliced the fillet into max 1 inch slices along the length of the fillet and then lightly seared skin side down so it cooks less than 2-4mm depth. This gives the skin a lovely crispiness and also slightly warms the fish through. We then ate this with creamy mashed potatoes and a red cabbage salad. If you like sashimi salmon u will love this

                      1. Gravlax omelet or scrambled eggs on toast.