Bread from heaven - Finn Crisp crusted Salmon with pesto


Finn Crisp sour dough rye crackers

Have you ever tried Finn crisps? They are fantastic, thin, sour dough rye crackers or crispbreads. From Finland obviously. They are nothing like Ryvita. Ryvita is giving crispbreads a bad name, I think. Ryvita is probably the world's worst crispbread. If Carlsberg made crispbreads, they definitely wouldn't do Ryvita. It's like cardboard, not even crisp really, just wafery and sawdustlike. Ryvita is your frumpy aunt Edith in her pleated skirt on a rainy day in Hemel Hempstead and Finn Crisps are Gisele Bündchen in a polka dot bikini playing beach volley on Copacabana. Get it? Totally different.

Finn Crisp sour dough rye crackers

Finn Crisps are dense and hard and the taste is intensely sour. They make stylish hors d'oeuvres with smoked salmon or caviar, they can be used to make a pastry base for a savoury tart or as breadcrumbs to top baked dishes.

They are also the ultimate little evening snack and a great way to delude yourself. They are so thin that they hardly have any calories in them and because they are so small and narrow anything you can pile on them is of debatable calorific value as well. And you only eat one at a time. You never make a big plateful of these. So they are perfect for dieting.

Finn Crisp sour dough rye cracker with cheese and cucumber

You take one cracker and slather it with butter. No need for silly low-fat margarine, because you're only having one small cracker. Good covering of proper artery clogging animal fat is what you need here. After all you don't want to go all crazy with the health business and end up a dried up bony old witch. Then you add on some cheese very precisely covering the cracker, no overhang but nothing left uncovered either. Emmental or gruyere will be perfect, but any cheese you like really, as long as it's hard and fatty. Put away the Philly Light with Chives immediately, you can have that with your Ryvita whenever you want to add that little touch of depression into your Monday. You then slice cucumber or tomato and place on top.

If you want to go all fancypants you can also sprinkle some fresh herbs on.*

Then you put the butter and cheese and tomatoes back to fridge and go to the living room to enjoy your snack in front of TV. You eat your Finn Crisp in front of the TV in 25 seconds, decide you should have another, go to kitchen, take butter, cheese and tomato from fridge and make yourself another. Again things go back to fridge and you go back to TV. This lovely sour cracker cycle will continue until you've had 12 of them (you only do this when you are home alone). You go back one last time, now only take half a cracker and just put butter on top and stuff it in your face there by the fridge. You have burned off some of the calories by the relentless activity between each cracker, but in the end you have hoovered half of the daily energy requirement for an average adult.

They work well with cold cuts also, like a bit of salami on top. However greasy your topping, don’t ever leave out butter. It is the essential glue to keep the cracker and topping together.

Like I said they are also great for cooking – I made a cracker crusted salmon for our #FishFriday dinner this week and I will be sharing some more recipes, but I will need to get more crackers because I ate all that were left in the pack after the 6 I needed for my salmon fillets. Here in UK you can find these in most bigger supermarkets, Waitrose stock them and so do H&B and other healthfood shops.

Finn Crisp crusted Salmon with rocket, watercress and spinach pesto

In this Hapankorppupestolohi (hapan = sour, korppu = cracker, pesto = pesto (!) lohi = salmon) the crackers are used as breadcrumbs. Some recipes cover the salmon with a thin layer of Dijon mustard instead of the pesto and then the sour cracker pieces are placed on top. I first had this quite a few years ago on a skiing weekend with my sister and brother. We’d hired a cabin on top of a ski slope, which was great, every morning we’d just jump on our skis and down we went. And in the evenings my sister cooked us all nice dinners. That was before I learned to love cooking, so she was fully in charge. I helped with chopping or mainly just hung out with her in the kitchen with a glass of wine in hand. One evening she made this salmon and if was amazing.

Watercress salad with rocket, watercress and spinach pesto sauce

Finn Crisp crusted Salmon with rocket, watercress and spinach pesto

I thought I had bought normal salmon fillets, but realized I had accidentally taken lightly smoked ones. But actually that worked really well, so use normal salmon or lightly smoked, both work beautifully in this recipe. You can use shop bought pesto. But I made my own, because I wanted to get some healthy rocket and watercress into our meal.

Watercress, spinach and Rocket pesto recipe

Rocket, watercress and spinach pesto

120g bag of watercress, rocket and spinach leaves
100g parmesan
Handfull of basil leaves (optional, I didn't have any)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Pinch of salt

Blitz the parmesan chunk in a blender to crumbs, add the rest of the ingredients and blend well until smooth.

Finn Crisp sour cracker and pesto salmon recipe

Salmon with rocket, watercress and spinach pesto

Finn Crisp crusted Salmon with rocket, watercress and spinach pesto

4 fillets of salmon (or you can have a nice whole side if you have many eaters)
1/3 - 1/2 cup of pesto (or a couple of generous tablespoons per fillet)
lemon juice
6 Finn Crisp crackers

Heat oven to 200C.

Break the Finn Crisps into crumbs. You can try your food processor, mine wasn't able to crack these, so I put them in a plastic bag and hammered with my meat mallet.

Remove any bones from salmon, sprinkle with salt (if using smoked fish don't add salt, as they are already seasoned) and pepper and squeeze some lemon juice on top. Spread pesto on the fillet and cover with the cracker crumbs.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the fish is done depending on the thickness of the salmon. I served it with watercress salad topped with some of the pesto, roasted broccoli and steamed new potatoes.

*I don't think Aino in Vähäkyrö, Finland, much bothered with chopped basil as she in 1868 accidentally created the crispbread when her sourdough rye bread went wrong in the masonry oven. She forgot to prick the bread with a fork before baking and the bread went all hollow. Husband Väinö came home from the field where he'd been ploughing away with his Finnhorse Toijala. Aino gave Väinö the bread and asked him to take it to the stables for Toijala, it wasn't fit for human consumption. But Väinö was a frugal man and Aino was not a great cook, so the food waste levels were up as it was. Väinö demanded they eat the bread themselves. They immediately realised how amazing it was with freshly churned butter and patented the production process. They became Finland's first Crispbread millionaires. Väinö invested in some cooking lessons for Aino in the Kerkko Rämssi cookery school. Toijala was allowed to retire and he became quite the celebrity. A town was named after him albeit a very small and boring town, but a town that was an important railway junction and has the world's largest Mämmi factory

Watercress salad with rocket, watercress and spinach pesto sauce

You Might Also Like