With everything else going on right now I completely forgot that we entered a new month. May felt like summer but the beginning of June has been rather cold so far. Hope that changes. With this slower pace of life I’m really appreciating seeing the change of time happening outside. New flowers bursting into bloom, some wilted and brown because they had their time in the lime light. And of course the sunshine has helped. But mostly it’s just any sign of time passing that I find so comforting. Because if time moves on, so will we. We will overcome the hardships facing us right now.
This made me think back to June as a child. So different from being a grownup in today’s world. As a school girl in Sweden June was filled with promise. The promise of ten weeks of freedom ahead of you. Of fun times with friends, holidays with the family, trips to the beach, sleepovers, too many ice creams and grazed knees. Summer felt endless and there for the taking. I really hope the school children of today feel similar feelings of hope and excitement even if their summer holidays will be different this year.
June in Sweden also means celebrating Midsummer, which I haven’t done properly since I moved to London eleven years ago, but the Midsummer food is still very special to me. New potatoes with butter and dill, herring (the one kind I like!), the first sweet strawberries… And of course other produce bursting onto the scene this time of year. Peas! Tomatoes! Lettuce!
And that’s why I would like to start with the herring, or rather, the only type of herring I like, which is of the Matjes variety. The brine is a little sweeter and less harsh than some types of herring and it’s just so summer-y in flavour. Using it in a savoury cheesecake is one of my favourite ways to eat it, it works really well as a starter or for a summer buffet.
Another lovely dish with Matjes herring is this nibble with eggs and dill on top of crisp bread. So yummy and even non herring lovers like this!
Moving on to peas. The first ones can of course be eaten raw in salads but in the evening a bowl of smooth green pea soup with bleak roe and creme fraiche is a perfect start to any supper or dinner party.
Lettuce, now also in season, is of course nice in any type of salad, but also like this – as the base for little salmon wraps. Great as a starter, with out without the rice, or even as your main dish!
Asparagus is still in season, but not for much longer, so make the most of it by putting it in a frittata with new potatoes, cheddar and spinach, topped with lumpfish roe and creme fraiche.
Finally the tomato season is upon us. Best served raw with salt and something creamy, this simple caprese salad with burrata is one of my favourite summer lunches. Or starters. It’s just so yummy!
Another really summery and fresh dish is this one with fried pillowy gnocchi, wild garlic pesto, cherry tomatoes and heaps of parmesan.
To finish I would like to highlight the strawberries. In the beginning of the season I like to eat them with cream and sugar, but now I’m ready to enjoy them in different ways. With muscovado ice cream for example.
Or with whipped cream on top of a chewy almond cake. Both lovely ways to end a weekend lunch or evening supper.