A Smorgasbord offers you and your guests the chance to mix and match each bite. Fill the board with an array of cured fish, pickles, breads, and crackers, and dig in. This spread works well all day, from brunch to an elegant twist on snack dinner.

Photo: Con Poulos
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
8 hrs 40 mins



  • 2 cups cider vinegar

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 3 small golden beets, roasted, peeled, and cut into disks

  • 3 small red beets, roasted, peeled, and cut into disks

  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced, preferably on a mandoline

  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced


  • 6 ounces whipped cream cheese

  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

  • 1 1/2 ounces whitefish caviar or other roe


  • 12 ounces smoked salmon

  • 12 ounces smoked trout

  • 1 (6-ounce) jar pickled herring

  • 1/2 cup drained and rinsed caperberries

  • 1/2 cup marinated mushrooms

  • 1/2 cup marinated Peppadew or cherry peppers

  • 1/3 cup dill mustard

  • Pumpernickel bread slices, toasted

  • Seeded crackers


  1. Make the pickles: In a medium saucepan, combine vinegar, 2 cups of water, sugar, salt, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, place golden beets, red beets, onion, and cucumber in separate lidded, heatproof containers. Divide boiling liquid among containers; cool to room temperature. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.

  2. Make the caviar cream cheese: Stir together cream cheese, shallot, and lemon zest until smooth. Gently fold in roe; chill until ready to serve.

  3. To serve, place pickles, caviar cream cheese, salmon, trout, herring. caperberries, mushrooms, and peppers in small bowls or on a large platter. Serve with mustard, toast slices, and crackers.

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