This is a Nordic version of the classic American sandwich, the BLT. I serve it with dry-cured lamb and scrambled eggs.
Almost every time I am alone at home I make scrambled eggs with dry-cured lamb, a Norwegian speciality. Dry-cured lamb (fenalår) is the Norwegian counterpart to Spanish serrano ham or the Italian Parma ham, but there are two big differences: While Serrano and Parma come from the pig, Norwegian fenalår is made from lamb and is much more salty. Sheep has always been an important livestock in Norway giving us wool for winter clothes and many kinds of meat.
In Norway dry-cured lamb used to be common around Christmas
I remember a whole leg of dry-cured lamb hanging in our pantry at Christmas. It was delicious with scrambled eggs, on open sandwiches or served with sour cream porridge. Usually Norwegians eat the dry-cured lamb as it is, but here I fry it in the pan, like a sort of sheep bacon! Sounds strange? Definitely, but it is delicious still. At least when your are used to it. My girlfriend is not, and she hates it. But I think this lovely sandwich will persuade her.
I serve the salty lamb with oven baked tomatoes, chives and scrambled eggs for a kind of Nordic BLT sandwich. The first time I tried the classic BLT was in San Diego in 2001 on my first trip to the US. The BLT made a huge impression on me with its endless layers of bacon and crunchy lettuce. The city of San Diego, however, was boring but I had two culinary highlights there. One being the BLT, the other one a Brownie ice cream.
Green green grass of home
In my Nordic version of the BLT the bacon is replaced with dry-cured lamb. If you cannot find it use Parma or Serrano. The lettuce is replaced with chives as a symbol of the never-ending summer of North of Norway where the sun never sets and the grass grows like weed. The Norwegian name of chives is gressløk, translated into ”grass onion”, because it looks like grass. Instead of raw tomatoes I bake small tomatoes in the oven for a sweeter flavour.
Nordic BLT sandwich (makes 2 generous portions)
10 small tomatoes on the vine
10 slices of dry-cured lamb (or Parma, Serrano or bacon)
2 tbsp butter
1. Preheat the oven 175C/350F and bake the tomatoes for 30 minutes.
2. Fry the dry-cured lamb in a little oil until crunchy. Place on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.
3. Wipe away the fat in the frying pan, add the butter and turn the temperature to low. Whisk the eggs with a fork in a little bowl with a tablespoon water. Cook the eggs on low heat for about 15 minutes to make it creamy while you continuously stir with a spatula.
4. Place half of the dry-cured lamb on a piece of bread, add half of the eggs and top with a generous amount of pepper and chives. Finish with half the tomatoes and another piece of bread.