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Smoked Salmon Tartines with Red Onion and Caper Relish

Smoked Salmon Tartines with Red Onion-Caper Relish
Smoked Salmon Tartines with Red Onion-Caper RelishNathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
8 mins
Prep Time:
25 mins

Chef notes

There's something so appealing about open-faced sandwiches. They're a snack I turn to often because I can take a slice of whatever bread I have on hand and top it with any bits of meat, cheese, relish or spreads lying about in my fridge.

This version is similar to what the Danish call smørrebrød. Slices of dense pumpernickel bread and French baguette are topped with a tangy cream cheese mixture, thin slices of smoked salmon and finished with a punchy relish. They're special enough to serve when friends come round and pair perfectly with Champagne or Chenin Blanc.

Technique tip: The cream cheese mixture can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated. The relish can be made up to 4 hours ahead, covered and refrigerated.


  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • Kosher salt
Cream cheese spread
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 thin slices Danish-style pumpernickel bread, toasted
  • 16 thin slices French baguette, toasted
  • 1 pound smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon


For the relish:

In a small bowl, stir the onion, capers, lemon juice, dill and mustard seeds together. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.

For the cream cheese spread:

In another small bowl, mix the cream cheese, crème fraîche, and chives to blend. Season to taste with salt.

For the tartines:

Spread the cheese mixture over the toasted slices of pumpernickel and baguette. Cut each slice of pumpernickel bread on the diagonal in half. Top each piece of bread with 1 salmon slice and then with a generous spoonful of the relish.

Transfer the tartines to a platter. Using a grater, finely grate the zest of the lemon over them and serve immediately.