A raw cauliflower salad with horseradish, dill and yoghurt dressing

Raw cauliflower salad :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Hi everyone! I know it’s been a while since I last posted something here. Not because I haven’t been wanting too. I absolutely love to share my recipes, photos and stories. But the reality is that I am struggling right now to fit it all in my days. And I suppose I’ve also had a bit of a creative block.

You know the feeling that you have nothing to share. Nothing that would be fresh, original and new.

But then on our way home from my in-laws the other day we stopped at Mariebergs Gårdsbutik, a farm shop about 40 minutes drive from where we live. A favorite place of mine, unfortunately too far off to visit every week though.

Mariebergs Gårdsbutik/Farm shop :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

And when I saw this fantastic organic produce I new I had to photograph it. I knew I had to blog again. Because fresh, seasonal produce never cease to inspire me.

And as always when I find fresh and inspiring produce my head starts to spin and create new recipes. I knew I wanted to use the purple cauli as the main ingredient, but I also wanted to include the horseradish. After all they’re from the same family of vegetables (read this book to find out all about our most common veg and their families) and would make a wonderfully crunchy salad with fresh flavors.

Purple cauliflower :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's KitchenRaw cauliflower salad :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Perhaps this is not for the kids if you spice it up with lots of horseradish. But do steam some cauliflower on the side for them and serve with olive oil/butter and a pinch of salt – my kids love it!

However, be careful when cooking the purple cauli – it turns pale blue in colour. Therefore it is in my opinion best eaten raw or steamed for 1 minute only to reduce colour loss. The texture is naturally more crunchy when steamed for such short time, but it’s a trade off. I steam white cauli for about 3 mins.

If you can’t find purple cauliflower, replace it with broccoli or use white cauli only.

And – I know it is hard to choose one (we love ‘em all!) but which one is your favourite produce right now?

Happy cooking!


Printable recipe

A raw cauliflower salad with horseradish, dill and yoghurt dressing

serves 4-6

2 heads of fresh cauliflower, 1 purple and 1 white
1 small red onion, finely sliced
1 apple (preferably e.g. Discovery or Aroma or any acidic variety), peeled, cored and cubed
1 tbsp raw chia seeds
1 handful walnuts, pan toasted and roughly chopped

1 cup plain Skyr yoghurt (or a greek/turkish variety)
a large bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped
fresh horseradish, finely grated (amount to suit your tastebuds)
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

1) Separate the cauliflower florets from the stalk and cut them into smaller pieces. (Keep the stalk for e.g. juicing or cooking later.) Combine the florets in a serving bowl together with onion, apple, chia seeds and walnuts (keep some for garnish).
2) Combine all ingredients for the yoghurt dressing in a small bowl.
3) Add the yoghurt dressing to the vegetables and use your hands to mix until everything is coated in yoghurt.
4) Sprinkle chia seeds, walnuts and dill on top and serve.

This is great as a side dish for oily fish (such as salmon or mackerel) or as a light lunch.

TIP! I used Skyr yoghurt for this recipe because I wanted to make it as high in proteins as possible. Skyr is an Icelandic yoghurt, high in proteins and very low in fat, that has become very popular in Scandinavia. You can replace it with any thick, natural (unsweetened) yoghurt though.

Raw cauliflower salad :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Slow roasted apple and rosehip granola

Slow roasted apple and rosehip granola :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

To me there is no better breakfast than a crunchy granola. Especially in summer, served with cold yoghurt and berries.

Making your own is both fun, simple and gives you the power to decide exactly what’s in it. And once it is made and sits in a jar on your kitchen counter it becomes your best breakfast friend (ok, sometimes lunch and evening snack too) for the next week or so.

I’ve made granolas in numerous different ways, switching ingredients according to season and mood. But lately I’ve felt that there were things that could be perfected and made better. For example I’ve accidentally burned my granola a few times, and I also wanted to try and get more crunch than I usually get.

So I thought to myself, perhaps slow roasting would be the difference I was looking for?

Slow roasted apple and rosehip granola :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

And do you know what? Slow roasting will without any doubt be the one and only way to make granola in this house from now on. Perfect crunch and no burning even without stirring. It does take a few hours, but since the temperature is so low you can easily leave the house for an hour or so and the granola won’t burn.

I was also looking for a different way of sweetening my granola. I always use some kind of natural sweetener, and while both honey and maple syrup are great I was a bit tired of always using the same things. I have also used a combo of apple syrup/honey previously, but this time I thought I’d try with apple syrup only. And it turned out great! Better than I could have dreamed of actually.

Another ‘secret’ and anonymous little ingredient that really makes this special is rosehip powder. I had a bag sitting in my pantry that never seemed to be used enough, so I thought I’d use it to add flavor (and vitamin C) here.

In fact apple syrup and rose hip powder are the big stars of this granola. So do try to get hold of them, or make your own when apples and rosehips are in season in about a month (in Scandinavia).

Blueberries and blue whortleberries :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's KitchenSlow roasted apple and rosehip granola :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

We also picked the first blueberries last week (happy dance!), so naturally we have everything with blueberries at the moment. However this granola is actually so great you can enjoy it totally on its own with some yoghurt. Or for variation – add seasonal berries or compotes.

Enjoy and happy summer! Be back soon.


Printable recipe

Slow roasted apple and rosehip granola

2 cups thick cut rolled oats
2 cups instant rolled oats
4 tbsp rosehip powder
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup flaxseeds

6 tbsp rapeseed oil
6 tbsp apple syrup
3/4 tsp sea salt

2 handfuls (150 g) of hazelnuts
1 handful of dried apples

1) Preheat the oven to 85° C (185° F) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2) Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl whisk together oil, apple syrup and sea salt.
3) Combine the dry and wet ingredients and mix well with your hands or a wooden spoon to coat everything.
4) Spread the granola mixture evenly over the baking tray. Pop into the oven and roast for about 4 hours. Just give it a good stir a couple of times during that time.
5) Add hazelnuts and dried apples and roast for 1 more hour. This ensures that the hazelnuts won’t get too dry and when adding dried fruit towards the end you’ll get that slightly chewy and caramelized fruit texture.
6) Switch off the heat and leave the baking tray in the oven to dry completely while the oven cools.
7) When completely cool, store in an airtight jar for up to a month.

TIP! I used a combo of instant and thick cut rolled oats here for more crunch, but you could also use instant oats only (or any other flakes that you have at hand). I tried to make this as ‘Swedish’ (or Nordic if you prefer) as possible so I used rapeseed oil which is commonly used here, but you can use e.g. extra virgin coconut oil if you prefer.

Slow roasted apple and rosehip granola :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Creamy curried broccoli soup with Coriander marinated mung bean sprouts

Creamy curried broccoli soup with Coriander marinated mung bean sprouts :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

This was a quick evening creation. On one of all the lovely summer evenings we’ve been blessed with lately. An evening when the kids had been playing with the neighbour’s kids the entire afternoon, and when food had to be on the table in no time.

And even though I hadn’t been to the shop, it was one of those rare occasions when a few ingredients just seemed to jump out of the fridge and suddenly there was delicious soup on the table.

A soup that everyone loved.

To be on the safe side I used the same spices as I do for this soup. A long time favorite in our family.

And clearly the broccoli version of it was a hit too.

Everyone had seconds.

Coriander marinated mung bean sprouts :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

To add texture and make it heartier you could add some pasta leftovers or sour dough croutons for the kids. Or make the coriander marinated mung bean sprouts for more grown up taste buds.

The spicy mung beans add color and a little crunch plus they create a lovely contrast of hot and cold. Just the way I like it!

I blended the soup because I know my kids love their soups that way. And because that’s better when using the leftovers the day after. But you could of course leave the broccoli as is too.

Be back soon!


Printable recipe

Creamy curried broccoli soup with coriander marinated mung bean sprouts

serves four, including seconds

1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp extra-virgin coconut oil
1-2 tbsp yellow curry powder
2 cans à 400 ml organic coconut milk
400 ml vegetable stock
1 large head of broccoli, cut into smaller florets including the stalk
1-2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
juice from 1/2 lime to taste

1) In a medium pot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook on medium low heat for about 5-7 minutes until slightly softened (do not brown). Add curry powder and stir until well blended.
2) Add coconut milk and vegetable stock and bring to a boil, cover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and simmer for 5 more minutes, until the broccoli is just tender enough to purée.
3) Add salt and pepper to taste and puree the soup in a blender. Finish it off with the lime juice.

Serve with leftover pasta, quinoa (or the like), sour dough bread croutons or the mung beans below.

Coriander marinated mung bean sprouts

1 cup sprouted mung beans
2 tbsp olive oil
juice from 1/2 lime
fresh red chili, finely chopped (taste it first – and use according to your tastes)
a good handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
sea salt

1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover and place in the fridge.

Creamy curried broccoli soup with Coriander marinated mung bean sprouts :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Strawberry, hibiscus and watermelon ice pops and A rhubarb hibiscus cocktail

Strawberry, hibiscus and watermelon ice pops :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

I am sure that those of you who celebrate Midsummer feast (mainly in the Scandinavian countries – am I right?) are all set with your pickled herrings, new potatoes, elderflower cordials and strawberry cakes by now. Right?

We will be celebrating Midsummer eve tomorrow with friends in Falkenberg, a bit south from Gothenburg, and the rest of the weekend we’ll just relax, eat some more pickled herring and new potatoes (!) and hopefully enjoy some sun too.

I just popped by today to share a wonderful discovery of a new to me ingredientdried hibiscus flowers.

Have you ever tried it?

Dried hibiscus flowers :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's KitchenRhubarb hibiscus cocktail :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Basically they are the dried flowers of the hibiscus plant. They are packed with antioxidants and vitamin C and can be used as a tea – hot or cold – or use them like I did here for flavor in ice pops or a summery cocktail. The taste is citrussy and a little bitter and adds an extra zesty element. And luckily they go very well with both strawberries and rhubarb that are at the peak of its season right now here in Sweden. Love!

I hope this inspires you to try hibiscus flowers in one way or the other. You’ll probably be able to find them in tea stores and health stores. I got mine here.

Enjoy and Happy Midsummer!


Printable recipe

Strawberry, hibiscus and watermelon ice pops

makes about 12 pops

4 tbsp dried hibiscus flowers + 1 cup water
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup strawberries, hulled
2 cups watermelon, roughly chopped
pinch of sea salt

1) Put the hibiscus flowers and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pull the pan off the heat and leave for about 30 minutes so the flowers can flavor the water. Strain and chill.
2) Place the chilled hibiscus water with the other ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
3) Pour the mix into ice pop moulds (makes about 12) and freeze for at least 4 hours.

Enjoy on warm summer days or after your workout!

Strawberry, hibiscus and watermelon ice pops :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Rhubarb hibiscus cocktail

For this cocktail you need to prepare both the rhubarb cordial and hibiscus flavored water/tea in advance. It doesn’t take much time or effort though, and once you have them prepared the cocktail is done in no time. You could use store bought rhubarb cordial here, or make your own which of course tastes a little better. And the choice is yours to make it an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink.

Rhubarb cordial
1 kg rhubarb, roughly chopped
1,5 litres of water
2 cups raw cane sugar
juice from 2 lemons

1) Place the rhubarb in a pot with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes without stirring – if you stir, the cordial could become cloudy.
2) Strain the rhubarb through a muslin cloth, catching the juice. This can take several hours, or even better, overnight. Don’t rush it – if you squeeze the rhubarb, your cordial will go cloudy.
3) In a large pot add the rhubarb juice, sugar and lemon juice, bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar. Turn off the heat, pour into sterilised bottles and seal. You could also freeze the cordial in plastic containers.

Hibiscus flavored water/tea

3 tbsp dried hibiscus flowers + 1 cup water

1) Put the hibiscus flowers and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pull the pan off the heat and leave for about 30 minutes so the flowers can flavor the water. Strain and chill.

For the cocktail

serves 4

1/2 cup rhubarb cordial concentrate
1/2 cup hibiscus flavored water/tea
sparkling water or dry sparkling wine to fill up each glass
ice
red currants/lemon slices/herbs to decorate

1) Divide the rhubarb cordial concentrate and the hibiscus flavored water in four glasses. Add ice and currants/lemon slices/herbs and fill up with sparkling water for a non-alcoholic cocktail or sparkling wine for an alcoholic cocktail.

Rhubarb hibiscus cocktail :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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A black quinoa summer salad with baby kale, haloumi, red berries and watermelon

Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen:: Black quinoa summer salad with baby kale, haloumi, red berries and watermelon

Working from home several days a week I have the pleasure of quite frequently cooking lunch for myself. And I don’t mind. I actually enjoy it.

I never use a recipe for my lunches. They just come out naturally from what happens to sit in the fridge at the moment – or if I find a great seasonal ingredient that I really like to use. Some days I put more effort into it than others. And if you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably noticed that my ‘work-from-home-lunches’ often appear as iPhone snapshots on my account.

So if you’re looking for lunch inspiration you might find some there. And if not, you should try some other lovely IG-accounts that I often turn to for inspiration, such as Elenore of Earthsprout, Luise of Green Kitchen Stories, Ditte of The food club, Kimberley of The year in food, 3191 miles apart or the brilliant Nathalie of Vanille Verte.

Just look at the photos and get inspired.

Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen:: Black quinoa summer salad with baby kale, haloumi, red berries and watermelon

Salads are the perfect summer food – don’t you agree? And I adore the idea of incorporating fruit and berries into savoury salads. So today I wanted to give you a recipe for a salad inspired by just that – seasonal fruits and berries. The Swedish strawberries have just made their appearance on markets and in supermarkets and everyone rushes out to get hold of the red berries…

Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen:: StrawberriesSonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen:: Baby leafs of Tuscan kale

For this salad I also used some tender kale leaves from the garden. They are of the variety Tuscan Kale which is better suited for salads than e.g. Curly kale. And when picking the leaves at a very tender stage (I had sown too many and had to thin out my beds) you can even eat them raw. However, to be on the safe side I marinated them for a while in the lemon dressing before adding them to the salad. And if you don’t have kale you could substitute it for any other green leaves that you have at hand.

Quinoa is one of the most delicious, fast-cooking lunch staples I know (not to mention healthy) and I use it all the time. Haloumi is fantastic with sweet and sour flavors and paired with red fruits/berries this makes a salty/sweet luscious and filling salad for warm summer days.

Although the haloumi is best served hot as soon as possible after it’s come out of the pan, this would also work for a summer picnic or a long car drive where a lunch stop is needed. Just bring the fruit and dressing in separate containers and assemble the salad just before eating. That way you also ensure that picky kids who might not want to eat the entire salad stay happy. My kids for example love quinoa with just olive oil and some sea salt and they would probably prefer their fruits and haloumi on the side.

I haven’t been frequent here on the blog lately, but I hope to be back soon again. Until then – I hope you try this salad and that summer is good to you!


Printable recipe

Black quinoa summer salad with baby kale, haloumi, red berries and watermelon

serves 4-6

1 cup black quinoa + 2 cups water + pinch of salt
1/4 cup beluga lentils + 3/4 cups water + pinch of salt
250 g haloumi + olive oil to fry
4 small spring onions or baby leeks, thinly sliced
1 cup tender baby kale or other green leaves of your choice
1 cup watermelon, cubed
1 cup strawberries, halved
a good handful of cherries, halved and pitted
2 tbsp mint, finely chopped
4 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

juice and zest of 2 small organic lemons
3 tbsp olive oil
garlic according to taste, grated
sea salt + pepper

pistachios to sprinkle, roughly chopped

1) Rinse the quinoa, bring the water to a boil and then add the quinoa. Cook on low to medium heat for about 15 minutes. Add salt towards the end of the cooking time. Drain from any excess water and leave to cool in the pot.
2) Bring beluga lentils, water and salt to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the lentils to cool in the cooking water. That way they hold their shape + they taste better. Drain before adding to the salad.
3) Cut the haloumi into small cubes, or simply crumble it, and fry in olive oil until golden in color.
4) Whisk together the lemon juice + zest, olive oil, garlic (if desired) and salt+pepper to taste. If using baby kale, marinate the leaves for 5-10 minutes in the dressing.
5) Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently until mixed. Garnish with roughly chopped pistachios.

TIP! Cook the quinoa for a little shorter than the manufacturer’s instructions if using it for a salad. 15 minutes is usually enough. This ensures that the quinoa keeps its shape and still has a little bite. The salad can be served lukewarm if assembled when the quinoa/beluga/haloumi are still warm. If so – make sure you eat it immediately. Or you could prepare the ingredients, refrigerate in separate containers and assemble just before serving.

Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen:: Black quinoa summer salad with baby kale, haloumi, red berries and watermelonSonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen:: Black quinoa summer salad with baby kale, haloumi, red berries and watermelon

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