All Hail the Sandwich King: The Havarti Dill Salmon Melt


We’ve discussed this before but let me reiterate – Stingray is the supreme sandwich maker as evidenced by this post. No, but actually… he is.   He’s detail oriented and patient enough to make my sandwich just the way I like it. Don’t even get me started on his egg sandwiches…*eyes cross in ecstasy*

Anyway, I called him from work the other night and asked him to make me a delicious dinner (I do all the cooking, therefore I can demand this on the occasion) and this is what the genius came up with: an open-faced salmon melt with Havarti dill and a lemon aioli.  To make it a meal, we heated up some roasted vegetable soup, and I made a refreshing side salad of watercress with lemon juice and a zesty aioli to drizzle on the sandwich. It was heavenly.

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Salmon Melt with Havarti Dill and Lemon Aioli

Makes 2 

  •  2 fillets of 4-6 oz. salmon (Pacific salmon if you can get it)
  • 1 t Paprika
  • ½ t Cayenne
  • 1 t Italian seasoning
  • 1 t Herbs de Provence or some other hearty spice mix
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 T olive oil
  • S/P
  • 2 slices of fresh chewy bread
  • ¼ cup grated Havarti, or 2 slices from the deli
  • 2 T finely chopped dill

Preheat oven to 375

In a bowl mix paprika, cayenne, Italian seasoning, Herbs de Provence, lemon juice and olive oil until it’s a loose paste.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust flavoring; the mixture should be very salty and intense.

Rinse the salmon, pat dry and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.  If the skin is still on, leave it; the meat will lift away easily from the skin after it bakes.

Drizzle the bottom of a stone or glass dish (oven-proof obviously) with olive oil and place the salmon in the center of the dish, flesh side up.  Pour the herby paste mixture over  the salmon. Tuck the de-juiced lemon half next to the salmon for extra flavor and cover with aluminum foil and bake.  Depending on the thickness of the salmon, it should take about 15-20 minutes. A single, thinner fillet may only take  about 10-12 minutes. Hint: White tear drops will start to form on and around the salmon when it’s ready. Don’t be afraid to under cook the fillets slightly because next up is the broiler once the sandwich is assembled.

After they’re baked, keep the salmon fillets warm under the foil on a plate. Chuck the roasted lemon.

Lightly butter the 2 slices of chewy country bread.  Heat a pan to medium-high and toss on the buttered slices. Heat until golden brown.

On a cookie sheet, assemble the sandwiches by placing the slices of bread in the center of the cookie sheet, then a fillet of salmon on each slice. If the salmon is too thick, or looks awkward and block-ish, fan it out across the bread. The fillet will break apart naturally. Mix the fresh chopped dill with grated Havarti and sprinkle generously over the salmon.

Broil the open face sandwiches for about 3 minutes.  Check on them constantly so they don’t burn! They’re ready when the cheese is golden and bubbly and the oven hasn’t caught fire. #winning

Serve with a lemon aioli (recipe below),  a piping hot soup and a cool, crisp salad and you’re ready to go!

Lemon Aioli 

  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • 1 T finely chopped dill
  • cracked pepper

No magic here, mix all ingredients together until smooth and yummy. Adjust flavors as needed, serve with your delicious sandwich.


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