This smoked salmon and cucumber sandwich is endlessly riffable and deeply refreshing on a hot day. Feel free to mix fresh herbs like dill or chives into your goat cheese spread. If you have the urge to add a slice of ripe tomato, toast your bread or hold off on the second lemon spritz to prevent your sandwich from getting too wet.

Serves 1

  • 2 tablespoons fresh goat cheese at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons room-temperature cream cheese
  • 2 1/2-inch thick slices of sturdy bread, such as a rustic sourdough
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon
  • 1 1/2 ounces (about 1/3 medium cucumber or 1/2 cup) thinly sliced cucumber (unpeeled)
  • A handful of arugula
  • A few rings of thinly sliced red onion
  • A fat squeeze of lemon
  • A drizzle of olive oil (optional)
  • Salt (preferably kosher or sea salt) and pepper to taste

1. Mix the goat cheese and cream cheese in a bowl until well combined and spreadable.

2. Spread the goat cheese mixture onto both sides of the bread.

3. Arrange a layer of cucumber slices across one piece of the bread. Cover with the salmon and then the red onion slices. Lightly squeeze the lemon directly onto the red onion (the acid in the lemon will counteract the onion’s bitter compounds) before piling as high as you want with arugula.

4. Squeeze more lemon onto the arugula, drizzle with olive oil if desired, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Arrange the second piece of bread on top of the arugula to finish the sandwich. Cut in half and enjoy.

Note: The sandwich will need to stay cold if being taken on a picnic, but the longer it sits the more the red onion will lightly (and delightfully) pickle.