Recipe: asparagus with chopped egg, browned butter and lemon

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Easter was all about about asparagus (and wild garlic) for me. The first asparagus of the season had arrived in the UK before I left for Sweden so I brought two nice bunches home with me. And then we found some lovely Italian asparagus in the supermarket so obviously had to buy that too!

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The first time we kept it simple and ate them with homemade hollandaise sauce. The second and third lots were served with wild garlic mayonnaise (it’s SO good!) and on Holy Saturday we made this dish with chopped egg, browned butter and lemon.

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Asparagus with chopped egg, browned butter and lemon, serves 4

12 asparagus 

2 almost hard boiled eggs, chopped 

50 g butter

1/2 lemon

2 tbsp chopped chives 

4 radishes, thinly sliced

salt, black pepper

Place the butter in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Let the butter melt but leave it until it’s foamy. Remove from heat when it’s a nice medium brown underneath the foam and it smells nutty (and divine!). 

Cook the asparagus in boiling water until al dente (approx 3 mins). Drain and place the asparagus on a plate. Season. Add the chopped egg and spoon over the browned butter. Add plenty of lemon juice. Season again and top with chopped chives and sliced radishes. 

Easter at home

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Happy Easter!

I got back from Sweden last night after ten wonderful days with friends and family. I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to see, but I’m starting to learn that I never have that much time when I go home. And I’m happy I managed to squeeze in as much as I did.

I ate a lot of pick ‘n mix and cooked a bit, met up with friends and got invited over to theirs for lunches and dinners. And I got to enjoy the fresh countryside air, pick wood anemones in the woods and unwind a little.

Here are a few pictures from the trip and I will post a lovely recipe later in the week!

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Our Easter dinner on Holy Saturday; plenty of eggs and herring!
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Champagne, nibbles and quality time with my dear parents.
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British asparagus! with homemade hollandaise sauce – SO good!
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“Our” woods
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Picking wood anemones
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Rhubarb meringue pie – our new favourite pudding!

Trattoria Caminetto d’Oro, Bologna

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Our first day in Bologna (Good Friday) we walked all over town to explore, but despite the many restaurants here we really struggled to find a nice place for lunch in the area where we were. After a while we settled for Pizzeria Trattoria O Sole Mio, where we had an OK lunch. I had a pizza with plump porcini mushroomsch and Caroline had gramignone pasta with salsiccia and copious amount of cream. Nothing to write home about but just what we needed.

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Our dinner that day was a little more exciting, as we had booked a table at Trattoria Caminetto d’Oro. The menu looked really good so we decided to share two starters to get to taste as much as possible. But first we had the amuse bouche above; a fish mousse with fennel I believe.

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One of the starters was this potato filled ravioli with pecorino and black truffle. It was absolutely delicious and just the type of Italian food I had been dreaming about before our trip.

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The second starter was the daily smoked fish: seabass, with finely chopped vegetables, orange peel, rosemary and thyme. Absolutely delicious! I must remember to pair orange with fish, it works so very well!

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I never tire of truffle so I chose the poached egg with parmesan, white truffle, purple potato purée, croutons and a whole artichoke for my mains. Everything was delicious but it was a dish that you ate in sections because of the artichoke, but still lovely.

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Caroline tried the ‘traditional boiled meats’, which was similar to a pot au feu, tender meats in a deliciously flavoured broth. Very filling though as some of the meat was sausages.

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It came with two sharp sauces, to cut through the richness of the meat; one with herbs and one with chilli, both really nice.

We really enjoyed the food, but the service could have been better. The sommelier was not helpful at all, and actually quite rude. The saving grace was the restaurant manager/owner who really did a great job, but he should hire better staff!

Worth a visit.

Caminetto d’Oro, Via de’ Falegnami 4, Bologna, Italy 

Italy in spring

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For Easter my friend Caroline and I went to Italy, to enjoy glorious spring weather and eat copious amounts of pasta. That’s our type of holiday.

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We spent most of the time in Bologna, in the Emilia-Romagna region, but we also drove to Modena, Cierva and Ravenna. Driving in Italy was an, ehum, experience but we got into it after a while.

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It was lovely to see all the fresh produce at the greengrocers. Bright red tomatoes, asparagus and courgette flowers made the mouth water, and strawberries were in season too!

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We of course enjoyed pasta, cheese and charkuteries as well. And fish and seafood.

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Just a change of scenery and pace was lovely, but also to enjoy some sunshine and be able to sit outside was amazing. I’m such a spring and summertime person I feel I came alive again!

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I have plenty to tell you about the restaurants we went too, so hope you’re up for a few posts on Italy!

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My Swedish Easter

I hope you have had a wonderful Easter. Apart from snow (!) and cold winds my Easter back home in Sweden was fantastic.

I got to hang out with my friends, spend time with my parents, go for walks, eat lots of nice food and just relax a bit.

When I got home on Good Friday my Easter egg was full of sweets, exactly like I hoped it would be. My mother painted this egg for me when I was a little girl obsessed with the colour pink. It is my favourite Easter egg, but a purple one my grandmother made is almost as nice.

My mother has still got some Easter eggs from when she was a little girl (yes, we like traditions in my family). Aren’t they nice? Well kept since they’re from 1959 and 1960…

Although the weather was pretty bad mum and I managed to go to the woods and pick some white anemones. It is proper spring when they’ve come out!

Scandi tip #18: Easter traditions

Sweden has been a Christian country since the Viking Age (that is how the religion travelled so far north) and a protestant country since the reformation in the 1500s. But many people are atheists as well.

Most holidays in Sweden are Christian but based on old Pagan traditions, although we still celebrate some pagan traditions as well as the Christian. A weird mix perhaps, but once you’re used to it you don’t really think about it.

Easter is definitely one of those mixed traditions. The last week of lent (Holy week) (although people don’t really give anything up for lent in Sweden) all the days have different names:

Palmsöndag (Palm Sunday), blåmåndag (Holy Monday), vittisdag (Holy Tuesday), skymmelonsdag (although my grandmother used to call is askonsdagen, Ash wednesday) (Holy Wednesday), skärtorsdag (Maundy Thursday) and långfredag (Good Friday). This week is to celebrate the pain of Jesus on the cross.

But on the Thursday we also celebrate a pagan tradition of little girls (and boys) dressing up like witches (påskkärring) in rags with head scaves, long skirts and painted freckles on their cheeks. They also have a broom stick (of course), a kettle and a black cat. Then the witches take a basket of Easter candy and walk around the houses and trade sweets for more sweets. Our way of trick or treat, I guess. The reason for dressing up like witches is that this is the day when they according to tradition all gather at Blåkulla to celebrate with the devil himself.

Odd, when you think about it that these two contradicting traditions are celebrated at the same time by the same people. But pagan traditions are really rooted and we hang on to them, just like midsummer.

I have no faith really (only on paper) but I do like traditions and what they represent.

Glad påsk! (Happy Easter!)