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!

Recipe: blood orange salad with biscotti

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After a freezing few weeks London is heating up. I’m sure we will get another bout of cold weather at some point, but I’m making the most of the warmer weather (right now it’s 12C and sunny!) when I can.

The promise of spring always makes me excited for the produce we’re about to receive. Mamma have actually picked wild garlic at home in (the south of) Sweden already and I can’t wait for asparagus season.

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But I’m getting ahead of myself, as we have another season to enjoy right now; blood orange season. It’s short and sweet (quite literally) and I love these ruby oranges so much. Because when they’re in season they’re always juicy and full of sweetness, unlike regular oranges out there. Same with the texture; they’re more delicate somehow. And absolutely delicious as they are. Which is why I served them sliced with a little vanilla, lightly whipped cream and store-bought biscotti. Simple as can be!

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Blood orange salad with biscotti, serves 2

3 blood oranges – at room temperature

1 clementine or 1/2 blood orange, the juice

1/2 tsp icing sugar

a small pinch of vanilla 

fresh mint to serve

Serve with:

biscotti

lightly whipped cream

Wash the blood oranges and well and dry them. Cut away the “top” and “bottom” (I know, oranges are round  but I mean the ends where the indentations are). Then continue to cut away the rest of the skin and the white bits too. Slice the oranges from top to bottom. Arrange the orange slices on a plate. Mix the citrus juice with icing sugar and vanilla and drizzle it over the plate. Decorate with mint. Serve with biscotti and lightly whipped cream. 

Stockholm: dinner at Hillenberg

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Saturday night in a sunny Stockholm. After a long day walking around the beautiful city we had a little breather in my friend’s flat before we got ready for a night on the town. It was actually a relief for my tired feet to swap my flats to heels, and taking a taxi to the restaurant obviously helped too.

Hillenberg, the restaurant I had booked, is the more relaxed one of Niklas Ekstedt’s (quite the frequent guest on Saturday Kitchen in the UK) two restaurants and I was super excited to try his cooking.

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On arrival we were shown to our table (with a sofa each to sit on) and started to study the menu. The service was a little slow at times, but that meant I had enough time to translate the menu and plenty of time to ponder it too.

Although I would have liked to try many things, I couldn’t resist the classic Toast Skagen, which I expected would come with a little twist. And indeed it did, as it was a deconstructed version. It was really lovely and I especially liked the dill dust on the side. Amazing mayonnaise too. Yum!

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My dinner companion had the nettle soup with äggost (a type of curdled cheese) and trout roe. Delicious!

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I was really indecisive when it came to my main course and so let our waiter influence me to try the monkfish bourguignon. It was really delicious and the “meaty” fish worked well with the powerful flavours. But the highlight was almost the velvety potato puré that was served alongside it. So rich, but beautiful!

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My dinner date had the lamb and was presented a very generous portion with lamb rack, artichokes and aubergine. Really lovely as well!

Unsurprisingly, we were too full to even be tempted by pudding. Instead we sat back (loved those sofas!) and finished our bottle of wine and just enjoyed life. Very content we weren’t completely finished with our night out and so walked around the corner to Riche for another glass of wine and lots of people watching.

Hillenberg, Humlegårdsgatan 14, 114 46 Stockholm, Sweden

Recipe: wild garlic fritters

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Wild garlic season is almost over now, but luckily there were a few leaves left when I was in Sweden last and I used them wisely by trying a completely new recipe!

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As you may know by now, I love fritters and have a few recipes on the blog already, but when I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit I couldn’t resist trying it. Wild garlic is my favourite flavour in spring (together with asparagus and rhubarb) as it’s less pungent than garlic. It seems fresher somehow. But it also reminds me of my childhood, of going for walks in the woods and sensing that onion-y smell when they were first in season, and later spotting the pretty white flowers.

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The fritters turned out really well, even though I tweaked the recipe a bit, and both my parents gave them the thumbs up. I thought the fritters needed a sidekick and served my parmesan crème alongside them. Yum!

Wild garlic fritters, serves 4 as a starter

Adapted from Bon Appetit’s recipe.

a bunch of wild garlic, approx 8 cm in diameter

135 g plain flour

120 g potato flour or rice flour

1 tsp baking powder 

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

100-200 ml sparkling water 

approx 200-300 ml vegetable oil for frying 

lemon wedges to serve 

Rinse the wild garlic and pat dry with kitchen towel. Remove the coarse part of the stems. Cut into 1 cm long pieces and put to the side. 

Mix flour, potato flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the sparkling water until you have a batter that isn’t too thick or too thin. Add the wild garlic and mix well. 

Pour the oil into a high-sided frying pan until it is about 1 cm deep. Heat on medium-high heat until warm enough for deep-frying (it’s ready when a small piece of bread comes out golden). 

Add spoonfuls of the batter to the hot pan and fry until gold first one one side and then the other. Drain on kitchen towel. Serve with lemon wedges and parmesan crème. 

 

 

 

Spring and snow in the same week!?

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Friday was such a wonderful day here in London; it was 14C and sunny and it felt like Spring really was here. Fast forward until the next day and it was -1C and snow. Most of the snow has melted again now and I really hope this is it. Spring, please come back!

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Apart from the weather changes it was a lovely week. I had some time to myself to just relax and catch up on feel good series such as Grey’s Anatomy (don’t judge!), Madam Secretary and Elementary (yes, crime makes me feel good. Any questions on that?).

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But I also had quality time with friends. On Tuesday I met up with my friend Laura at Flesh & Buns for sushi, fried squid, steamed buns with duck and wonderful doughnuts with black sugar caramel.

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On Friday I had sushi again, at Sticks ‘n Sushi and an early night. Saturday started with a long lie-in and a blissfully quiet morning before I reorganised my whole wardrobe and tidied up at home. So nice to get it done and so needed!

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Yesterday I met up with dear friends from Sweden in town. We had a lovely afternoon with lunch at Carluccio’s, a trip to the playground in the snow (!) and tea and cake to warm up afterwards.

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So lovely to spend quality time with my friends in London. It’s always such a whirlwind trying to fit everybody in when I go home so this was a real treat!

Spring and a rather decadent Saturday night

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As soon as the snow melted spring arrived. Hallelujah! I’ve swapped my ankle boots for ballet flats and it feels so much lighter.

The snow disappearing certainly put me in a good mood for the week and I’ve had a lovely one. I had some time to do chores at home (love to get organised!) but also made it to the cinema to see Red Sparrow (it was alright but not as good as I had hoped) and had a girlie night in with Ro and Gaby watching rubbish TV, eating a lovely pasta dish that Gaby cooked and some pampering in the shape of gold (!) face masks.

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The weekend was quite packed as well with after work drinks at Gordon’s Wine Bar on Friday, outside but under heaters. Saturday I got some more things done at home and I finally feel back on track, before going out for a lovely dinner in the evening.

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I finally made it to a restaurant I’ve been meaning to try for a while (review to come) and after a lovely dinner there we carried on with champagne at The Charlotte Street Hotel and Kettner’s Townhouse in Soho. It was such a treat! I just love discovering new places in this amazing city!