the ultimate hot smoked salmon sandwich with roast garlic aioli

With one ‘almost vegetarian’, one ‘meat and three veg’, one ‘eat anything’ and me (!), there is one food which unites our family (weirdly) – smoked salmon. This is a sandwich with home made roast garlic aioli I wrote and photographed for Fairfax media, happily knowing that it would go down a treat at home as well as for readers. At the moment the ICC Cricket World Cup is being hosted in New Zealand and Australia, and although the English have already sadly been sent packing, this sandwich is a tribute to their fine tradition of sandwich making to accompany a cricket tea – just up-scaled to man-size instead of the traditional delicate finger sandwich best suited to fine bone china and a raised pinky finger. As with any good sandwich the bread is critical, crappy bread = crappy sandwich! To go with the luscious rich hot smoked salmon, garicky aioli, salty capers, clean fresh cucumber and creamy brie, you really want a fabulous wholemeal or grainy loaf that you can cut yourself into thick slices. Any old hoo there you have it – the perfect sandwich for watching the cricket (or any sport for that matter) to be enjoyed with a large pot of tea…or a beer / chilled riesling! Go the Black Caps!!!

8 large garlic cloves (up to 14 if they are small), peeled
½ cup light olive oil
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon seed mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 loaf good quality bread such as a wholemeal loaf or ciabatta
2 handfuls rocket or watercress
½ cucumber, finely sliced
½ small red onion, finely sliced (optional)
100g brie or camembert, sliced
250g hot smoked salmon, pin bones removed
2 tablespoons fresh dill


Preheat oven to 150˚C (300˚F). Put garlic cloves in a ramekin and cover with oil. Cover well with tinfoil and bake for 1 hour, leave to cool then remove garlic, reserving oil. In a small bowl whisk egg yolk with an electric whisk.  Slowly add garlic oil drop by drop until it thickens, then slowly in a steady, light stream. Mix in mustard, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the capers, roughly chopped, and season well with salt and pepper. Mash garlic with a fork and stir into aioli. Store covered in the fridge for 4 up to 5 days. Slice 8 pieces of bread and top each with watercress then a few tablespoons of aioli. On top layer cucumber, red onion, brie, and salmon. Sprinkle with dill and remaining capers and top with second slice of bread.


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