Mayonnaise together with remoulade has been for many years the standard basis for most of the Danish salads used to garnish our famous open-face sandwiches. Now, many are using alternaive dressings for an improved low-calorie salads and garnishes. Homemade is always best. If you do use store bought mayonnaise, be sure it is a good one. If the salad is to be eaten the same day, crème fraiche or low-fat sour cream, yoghurt, or a similar sour-milk product can be used to reduce calories. Be aware that low-fat ingredients in mayonnaise makes salads watery and loose if it sits too long. A mayonnaise made only with egg whites and a neutral oil makes a very white mayonnaise and has half the calories. In this open-face sandwich with ham and Italian salad and asparagus, I have used a mayonnaise made without egg yolks. The Italian salad in this recipe has nothing to do with Italian food, but the colors in the salad remind one of the Italian flag.
Ham with Italian Salad and Asparagus
Makes 4 sandwiches
Italian Salad: 1 small carrot, diced, 1 cup freshly shelled peas or frozen, 2 white asparagus, trimmed (asparagus from a jar can be used. Make sure asparagus is patted patted dry with a paper towel before mixing the salad.
Dressing; ½ cup of egg white mayonnaise (recipe below), ½ cup low fat sour cream, 1 tbsp. mustard, salt and freshly ground pepper
4 slices of buttered dark rye bread or whole wheat bread, 4 lettuce leaves, 8 thin slices of cooked ham
Garnish: 8-12 white or green asparagus, cress
Egg white mayonnaise: 2 egg whites, 1 tbsp. vinegar, 1 tbsp. water, tsp. salt, 1½ cup corn oil.
Make egg white mayonnaise first, combine egg whites, water and salt. Process until blended. With the machine running, slowly add oil in a thin stream and process until emulsified. Season with more salt if necessary.
To make the Italian salad, cook carrots in slightly salted water 2-3 minutes. Transfer carrots to a small bowl and cook fresh green asparagus 2-3 minutes, white asparagus 6-8 minutes. Transfer asparagus to paper towels to drain. Add peas to water and cook 20-30 seconds. Drain vegetables and chill. Set aside 8-12 asparagus for garnish. Cut the remaining two asparagus into small pieces. Mix vegetables with mayonnaise, sour cream and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
To assemble, place two slices of ham on each piece of butter bread covered with a lettuce leaf, a spoonful of Italian salad and garnish with one or two stalks of asparagus and cress.
Remember, Danish open-face sandwiches should be eaten with a knife and fork.