Nordic New Year's Nibbles

Great Items to Include on a New Year's Eve Smorgasbord

New Year's Eve is a super opportunity to present a "smorgasbord" of appetizers to friends and relations as you ring in the New Year. Similar to Spanish tapas dishes, these savory Nordic "small bites" and sandwiches will provide a tasty accompaniment to your celebratory bubbly or - for any children in your crowd - festive "Skål Ya,ll" fruit tea.

  • 01 of 11

    Scandinavia's most famous appetizer, cold-cured gravlax is a breeze to make, requiring only a few simple steps and next-to-no labor. Sliced paper-thin and served on rye crispbread with sweet dill mustard, it is a necessary and delicious part of a New Year's smörgåsbord buffet.

  • 02 of 11
    Cold-cured gravlax takes on a new dimension of flavor when lightly smoked for an hour or two before serving. It's an excellent alternative to provide for less adventurous guests who prefer their salmon cooked.
  • 03 of 11
    Kalles Caviar, in several varieties, is easy to find at IKEA or at specialty Scandinavian food shops. Enjoy it on rye crispbread, hard boiled egg halves, or open-faced sandwiches
  • 04 of 11

    Julie Ingebretsen contributed this phenomenal "fusion" recipe for Norwegian Burritos to Anne Gillespie Lewis' must-have cookbook, Ingebretsen's Saga: A Family, A Store, A Legacy of Food.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11
    Smoked salmon, ripe avocado, and piles of tiny baby shrimp contribute to the flavor and the beauty of this seafood smörgåstårta.
  • 06 of 11

    This vegetable-laden sandwich cake borrows from multiple cultures, layered as it is with spinach spread, artichoke spread, and Hungarian liptauer spread. Use a generous hand and a keen eye for color in choosing and arranging crispy salad vegetables and greens to garnish this masterpiece!

  • 07 of 11
    Mellow Danish Havarti cheese pairs with the slight sharpness of caraway seed to flavor these unique "cookie" appetizers.
  • 08 of 11
    New potatoes serve as an easy yet elegant appetizer when garnished with sour cream and red and white lumpfish caviar.
    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11
    Skagen Toast
    Skagen Toast, a classic developed by Swedish chef Tore Wretman. photo ©Kari Schoening Diehl, licensed on 12/31/2011 to About.com

    Years before Scandinavian chefs met to define today's rising "New Nordic Cuisine," Swedish restaurateur Tore Wretman anticipated the importance of developing exciting recipes that showcased fresh local ingredients, promoted traditional Swedish recipes, and celebrated the Nordic terroir (a bit ironic, really, since Chef Wretman was also responsible for popularizing avocados in Sweden). First introduced in Wretman's Stockholm, Riche, in 1958, Toast Skagen is now served at many...MORE restaurants across the country.

  • 10 of 11
    Fondue with gjetost
    Norway's gjetost cheese in a savory fondue. photo ©Kari Schoening Diehl, licensed on 12/31/2011 to About.com
    Gjetost, Norway's very special brown cheese, melts so easily that it's a natural cheese to use in fondue. While most often used for "dessert" fondues because of its almost candy-like sweetness, it also works nicely as a savory dunk for meatballs and rye bread.
  • 11 of 11

    The children and non-tipplers at your New Year's Eve festivities will appreciate this refreshing "fusion" fruit tea, a classic both in older Scandinavian cookbooks and in Nashville cuisine.

    Please follow me as I explore the latest trends and developments in the exciting New Nordic Cooking Movement on Twitter ~ Friend me and let's share favorite Scandinavian recipes and cooking tips on Facebook!