smørrebrød recipe kesbeke pickles

Amsterdam pickles meets Danish smørrebrød

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes at the Kesbeke Original Amsterdam Pickles factory, famous for their gherkins and onions.

Kesbeke is the very last pickles factory in Amsterdam now in the hands of the 3rd generation. The family started back in the 40s in a small cellar in the centre of Amsterdam. Nowadays the gherkins and onions come from Germany but the real craft, pickling, will always happen in the Amsterdam factory.

During the factory tour the owner passionately told about the production, collaborations with great Michelin star chefs such as Jonnie Boer and Ron Blaauw and about the enthusiasm of the current generation Kesbeke to develop new combinations and products. Very nice to see and hear!

Pure, traditional, local and made with lots of love and attention: I love it! I could tell you much more about this great company, but maybe I better share a nice lunch recipe with you? Of course I didn’t leave empty-handed: in the cosy pickling-shop “sweet & sour”, across the factory, I bought a few jars of pickles.

Not only Dutch love gherkins: Scandinavian cuisine is also using a lot of pickled vegetables. I worked for a Danish company for years and didn’t mind the regular travel to the head office: the food was delicious! Lots of fresh fish, great cheese and for lunch the buffet was full of the most delicious and pretty “smørrebrød”.

Smørrebrød is an open sandwich, which consists of a slice of fresh rye bread, spread with salted butter (“Smor og brød” means butter and bread). Then the bread is topped with a large variety of “pålæg”: meat, fish, cheese, sauces, fresh herbs and pickles. Sounds simple, but in Denmark they take making a sandwich pretty seriously!

kesbeke pickles factory

Smørrebrød – 3 variations

Makes 6 sandwiches

Smørrebrød with goat cheese
    • 1 slice of rye bread (or other dark bread)
    • some salted butter
    • 6 slices of soft goat cheese
    • 1/2 raw beetroot
    • 1 medium Amsterdam Kesbeke gherkin
    • a few hazelnuts
    • a few sprigs of dill
  1. Cut the rye bread in two and spread with some salted butter
  2. Cover each sandwich with 3 slices of goat cheese
  3. Chop the beetroot and gherkin into very small cubes, mix and divide over the goat cheese
  4. Crush the hazelnuts in a mortar or finely chop with a knife, divide over the 2 sandwiches
  5. garnish with some dill
Smørrebrød with roast beef
    • 1 slice of rye bread (or other dark bread)
    • some salted butter
    • 1 tbsp. of crème fraiche
    • 1 tbsp. of mayonnaise
    • 1/2 tbsp. of mustard
    • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
    • 1 medium Amsterdam Kesbeke gherkin, in very small cubes
    • salt and pepper
    • 2 slices of raw roast beef
    • few sprigs of parsley
    • the zest of a quarter of a lemon
  1. Cut the rye bread in two and spread with some salted butter
  2. Make a remoulade sauce: mix mayonnaise, crème fraiche, mustard, shallot en gherkin, season with salt and pepper
  3. Spoon some sauce on each sandwich
  4. Cover the sauce with a slice of roast beef
  5. Garnish with lemon zest and some chopped parsley
Smørrebrød with smoked salmon
    • 1 slice of rye bread (or other dark bread)
    • some salted butter
    • 6-8 thin slices of cucumber
    • 1 tbsp. of crème fraiche
    • few sprigs of chive, finely chopped
    • salt and pepper
    • 2 slices of good quality smoked salmon
  1. Cut the rye bread in two and spread with some salted butter
  2. Cover each sandwich with 3-4 slices of cucumber
  3. Mix crème fraiche with chive and season with salt and pepper
  4. Put a slice of salmon on each sandwich
  5. Spoon some chive crème onto the salmon and garnish with a few extra sprigs of chive

Doesn’t that sound delicious? And much better than your standard cheese sandwich? A mix of different smørrebrød is also perfect for an extensive lunch on weekends. By the way: as for me the old-fashioned (Dutch) cheese cube with a Kesbeke pickle or onion is still allowed ;-).

(Please note: this post is not sponsored by Kesbeke, I just think their pickles are delicious;-). I visited the factory during the publicly accessible “24H in West”).

Got hungry? For more recipes, behind the scenes and favourites follow Miss Gingerish on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

Have you made one of Miss Gingerish’ recipes? I would love to see your kitchen creations! Simply share on social media: tag @missgingerish on Instagram or Twitter

Leave a Reply