June greetings

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.

Welcoming May!

Time flies even when it is lockdown, it seems. And although we can’t enjoy the arrival of May the usual way (with picnics and barbecues galore with friends and family), the passing of time seems comforting somehow. Life goes on. And we can celebrate it with the smallest of things. In solitary or over Zoom with friends. Using fresh local produce and eating seasonal. For me, food is so important right now and I’d like to share some of my favourite spring recipes with you here!

First up is this super simple and utterly delicious lemon and basil pasta courtesy of The River Café. It’s so good that when I made it for book club they all asked for the recipe and one of the girls cooked it three (!) times the coming week.

If you have the luxury of a garden, utilise it for cooking. Meat tastes best on the barbecue, even if you’re only cooking for one or two people. And this lemony marinade with honey and herbs is so easy to throw together but elevates your meat no end. Perfect for chicken and pork!

With barbecue meats you need a nice sauce and this garlic and herb (yes, that is the taste of spring to me!) one is super easy to make and is delicious with any oven roasted potatoes, or even chips.

One of my best recipes from last year was this charred and sticky barbecue chicken. It’s simply delish and I urge you to make it!

Although I’m super excited about barbecue season my enthusiasm for the asparagus season is still at an high and this recipe is just what I’m craving; cooked green asparagus with crispy pancetta and a buttery lemony hollandaise with chives. Yum!

This recipe is more for gatherings than lockdown, but scale it down and it’s the easiest starter: cooked asparagus to be eaten with your fingers and dipped in homemade lemon mayo! So delicious!

A Scandi classic that I love a bit extra at this time of year is the bleak roe pizza. It’s best as a starter although I wouldn’t turn down a whole one all to myself!

Moving on the sweet stuff. It’s still rhubarb season and luckily also ice cream season, so why not combine the two into this amazing rhubarb parfait?! It’s easier to make than ice cream (no churning) but so so good!

Another rhubarb favourite is this vanilla pannacotta topped with soft rhubarb. Just to die for and can be made well in advance!

The first British strawberries have arrived and although I prefer to eat the first ones with just during cream and sugar, after a while I like to mix it up, and this muscovado ice cream with lime marinated strawbs is just lovely on a sunny day!

Another spring favourite of mine, is this fantastic key lime pie! I can’t wait to make it this year!

Aloha April!

It’s definitely a little strange, welcoming a new month while in lockdown. But I’m happy it’s spring. It would have been so much worse dealing with this during the darker months. Even though only people with gardens can be outside as much as they want, it still makes me happy to see blue skies and flowering trees from inside the flat or on my walks.

And as spring has sprung, so has the produce. Asparagus is now in season, just like jersey royals, nettles, early strawberries from France, artichokes, spinach and broccoli. And it makes me so happy! I know food shopping isn’t as easy as it used to be, but if you manage to put your hands on some fresh seasonal produce, I hope you can find inspiration here. And even if you can’t, I still hope these suggestions can provide a momentary distraction or some inspiration for the future.

I am most excited about the arrival of the asparagus, so let’s start there.

This pizza with asparagus and wild garlic pesto is lovely as a main course or even as a starter. It literally tastes of spring!

This asparagus starter with wild garlic mayonnaise and parmesan has become one of my signature dishes, and I will never tire of it. It’s super simple to make but still makes an impression.

For a more hearty dish, this asparagus risotto is lovely and although filling it feels light!

Moving on to artichokes, best enjoyed freshly boiled with butter!

Another favourite ingredient is the humble new potato. In Sweden these are celebrated at midsummer but in the UK they come much earlier. And although I love them freshly cooked with just butter and dill (or cold with a little butter) they are so versatile! Serve them with asparagus, in a potato salad with wild garlic pesto. Divine with any barbecued meats or a roast chicken.

This new potato salad with pears and blue cheese is really different but so gorgeous!

Fresh spinach is also in season, and I love to eat it wilted with fluffy gnocchi and a creamy stilton sauce.

Or with baked eggs and mushroom in this delicious brunch dish!

Last but not least, British broccoli is here too. And I love it served with a poached egg and a delicious sauce. Perfect for brunch, lunch or as a starter!

These broccoli parmesan fritters is another fun way to eat broccoli. It’s delicious but also a great way to get little ones to eat their greens. Perfect for lunch!

Hope you all have a lovely April!

Hello March (and hopefully Spring!)

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March is here. With more light, longer days and spring blossoms galore! I’m so happy spring is finally within reach.

I’m SO looking forward to the first fresh produce of the season, so thought I would share some of my favourite early spring recipes with you. We have blood oranges! Wild garlic! Rhubarb! (The forced one are already here.) And the most divine cheese!

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Wild garlic pesto is a must as soon as the little green leaves are sprouting. The season can start as early as February and continue on towards May/June. Definitely one of my favourite seasons!

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Fried gnocchi with wild garlic pesto and cherry tomatoes is spring on a plate!

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And this orzo pasta with courgette and feta is absolutely delicious! Pairs well with roast chicken or pork fillet. Yum!

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Also love these wild garlic fritters!

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And these oysters au gratin with Västerbotten cheese and wild garlic are divine! The perfect dinner party starter in spring.

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Another delicious starter is this one; portobello mushrooms stuffed with wild garlic and cheese! Old school and so good!

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But the simplest wild garlic recipe (perfect for the wild garlic beginners) is wild garlic bread. Basically buttery garlic bread but with wild garlic instead of regular garlic. It will get you hooked on this lovely herb, I promise!

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The cheese I mentioned in the beginning of this post is only available for a few months each year and March is the end of the season, so make sure you have one before it’s too late. I love it baked with boiled new potatoes and charcuterie.

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Also blood oranges are available for a limited time, so go get some now! It’s a short season but make the most of it as they are so so good! This simple blood orange salad with biscotti is easy to throw together any day of the week.

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I also love this blood orange pannacotta – it’s absolutely delicious!

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Moving on to rhubarb, this tart with creme patisserie is so lovely!

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And this rhubarb meringue pie is amazingly delicious!

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But this might be my absolutely favourite when it comes to rhubarb: a puff pastry and custard rhubarb tart! It’s heaven served with some lightly whipped cream!

Bring on Spring!

November already?!

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It’s November! Already?! October just sped past and now it’s time for one of my least favourite months. Why? Because it’s colder, darker, rainier and more depressing. BUT November is also leading the way to December and the holiday season, so I have learned that if I light as many candles as possible and concentrate on everything cosy and Christmassy then November isn’t quite so bad.

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And another good way of making November more bearable is through food. Warm hearty soups, some nice stews and a few sweets and it suddenly feels a lot better.

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So let’s start with the soups. A must in pumpkin season is of course this butternut squash soup with roasted garlic.

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Another lovely soup for this time of year is a real British classic; broccoli and stilton soup. So comforting!

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Obviously had to include my favourite soup; my best version of Jerusalem artichoke soup. It’s earthy, creamy and perfect for dinner parties and weeknights alike.

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Sweet potato soup with lemon grass is another lovely and warming soup you must try!

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And lastly we have the soup that is like a big warm hug in a bowl. Yes, it contains lots of melted cheese, but also healthy broccoli for balance. And it’s heaven!

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But we can’t survive November on soup alone. How about some pillowy gnocchi with the creamiest butternut sauce?! Delicious!

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And these venison patties with dauphinois potatoes and creamy mushroom sauce is the perfect Sunday dinner to impress your friends with, in a warming un-fussy way.

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Or make this slow-cooked lamb shank with herb polenta for ultimate comfort. Also perfect for a dinner party!

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And then we have the ultimate stew; Julia Child’s excellent boeuf bourguignon. So dreamy!

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For pudding what’s better than a Thanksgiving inspired pecan pie or pecan cheesecake?! Because nuts and caramel are the antidotes to dark November!

 

 

Hello October!

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To welcome October (and autumn) I thought I would look back at some great recipes that I’ve posted through the years here on Scandelights.

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As I’m usually behind with my posts (as in I write and publish them a while after they happened) I thought this would be a good way to highlight some more seasonal recipes each month.

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Although I’m a summer person I also love this time of year; the beginning of fall (before I get depressed mid-November) when the air is crisp, it feels cosy to stay in and cook and drink red wine (rosé, you’re retired until April!) and binge box sets. I love lighting candles and curling up on the sofa with a soft blanket.

The recipes I have selected definitely reflect this cosy feeling October gives me. We have warming soups, a comforting stew, lots of lovely mushroom recipes (as it’s their peak season right now) and of course APPLES!

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And that’s where I’d like to start; with the apples! And this lovely apple cake to be precise. I don’t love the gooey kind much, but this one is different. It’s more cake-y and it has a crunchy top which really makes it stand out!

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Staying on sweets, I think the best autumnal pudding is a really good crumble, and this Delia recipe is the best I’ve tried. It warms you from the inside out and is the best way to use up any autumnal fruits. It works with plums, apples, pears or a mixture of them all. Serve with this fluffy raw custard and you’ll really impress your guests!

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Moving on to soups, I’ve started with a selection of easy to make soups that are sort of autumnal light, let’s save the heavier ones for November when we really need it! First up is this British classic: carrot and coriander soup. It’s perfect for a weeknight supper with a cheese toastie on the side, or do as us Swedes and have pancakes after.

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Next we have a really lovely and filling cream of corn soup with lovely toppings (don’t skip these). Use fresh corn while it’s still in season!

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Moving on to my favourite category: mushrooms, what’s better than starting with a mushroom soup – a recipe that fits in two camps and probably makes it the most October appropriate of them all! The addition of sherry it what really makes it stand out (in a good way) and also makes it totally dinner party worthy as a starter.

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Next we have this open lasagne with mushrooms, thyme and truffle ricotta. It’s just as lovely as it sounds and very easy to make! Definitely qualifies for a dinner party or date night!

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As I love love love girolles there are a fair amount of lovely recipes here featuring them already, so I thought I’d highlight two of my favourites. This delicious pizza bianco with butter-fried girolles and Vasterbotten cheese (available at Ocado, or can be substituted for a sharp cheddar or comté)…

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…and this girolle cannelloni. So delicious! And albeit a little fiddly it’s quite therapeutic to  make and totally worth the labour!

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The last mushroom recipe features black trumpet and is a lovely dish with crispy pork belly, Jerusalem artichoke purée and a creamy black trumpets. Such a lovely dish!

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Moving on to stews, like with the soups I think it best to save the heavy artillery for next month, but this aubergine and chorizo stew to have with creamy delicious polenta is a good one for October!

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Lastly, I’m sharing a tomato recipe. I know, the season is almost over, but only almost. So let’s make the best of the last few locally grown tomatoes we can find and make this pappa al pomodoro with burrata. You can thank me later.

If you have any favourite October recipes you’d like to share, please leave a comment below! ❤️

 

 

Flashback: autumn

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I’ve had this blog for quite a few years now and although I don’t always post it here, I go back and repeat certain recipes quite often. And if I’m ever stuck for supper ideas while in the supermarket I just look through the blog on my phone to find inspiration. That’s why I thought I’d share a few seasonal favourites with you from time to time. First up some autumnal inspiration!

Yoghurt pannacotta with baked apples

Crisp salted oatmeal white chocolate cookies

Open lasagne with thyme-fried mushrooms and truffle ricotta