Young carrots with dill yoghurt and toasted cumin

Young carrots with dill yoghurt and toasted cumin :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

A while ago I was asked by Åhléns (Swedish department store chain) to share a recipe on the theme “Alla länders land”, meaning “The country of all countries”.

If you’ve ever been to Sweden (or Scandinavia) you know that we hold our herring, smoked salmon and new potatoes very dear. And those are the things that you would always find on a Swedish summer table. With the campaign Åhléns wants to inspire to add new dishes, and with influences from other countries, to the table this summer.

My head immediately started spinning with ideas, since summer is my favorite season to cook. Greens and fruits are abundant, and the limits on what to cook seem to be endless. Having said that, I don’t like to spend a large amount of time cooking in the summer, but rather spend more time to chat with family and friends around the table.

Don’t you agree?

Young carrots with dill yoghurt and toasted cumin :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

I also like to use as much locally grown produce as possible, which is perfect because it doesn’t need much time or effort in the kitchen.

The recipe I’d like to share is one that I made often last summer, and will for sure make again this summer. In our garden, I grew the prettiest, most delicious, little carrots named “Paris Market”. Cooked them quickly and paired with Turkish yoghurt, dill and toasted cumin seeds. Fresh, locally sourced and fast – just the way I like it!

My garden :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

My kitchen garden last summer

In traditional Swedish summer coking, crème fraîche or “gräddfil” (similar to butter milk or crème fraîche, but with less fat) is commonly used. But I like Turkish style strained yoghurt better, both for its thick creamy texture, the slight acidity and how it elevates the sweet carrots. Cumin has been commonly used and cultivated in Sweden for several hundreds of years, and it is also frequently used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. Cumin is actually also related to carrots, which makes it the perfect match for this dish. A marriage between classic Swedish and East Mediterranean flavors.

I hope you’ll add this to your repertoire this summer. Great as a snack before dinner, or as part of a “smörgåsbord”. Enjoy!

And please share in the comments your own suggestion for a new dish to add to the “smörgåsbord” this year!

Young carrots with dill yoghurt and toasted cumin

250 g young carrots
3-4 tbsp water
2 tbsp (30 g) butter

2 tbsp black cumin seeds

Dill yoghurt
1 cup Turkish yoghurt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp chopped dill fronds, plus more to serve
pinch of sea salt

1) To make the dill yoghurt, mix the yogurt with olive oil, dill and salt and place in a serving dish. Put the dish in the fridge while preparing the carrots.
2) Heat a small skillet or frying pan over high heat and add the cumin seeds. Shake the pan to keep the cumin seeds moving and toast until the seeds darken slightly and smell fragrant, about 1 minute. Set aside.
3) Brush the carrots clean under running water and put them in a medium pan with water and butter. Bring to a boil, cover with a tightly fitting lid, and let them cook at moderate pace for 5-6 minutes. Remove the lid and check for tenderness. The carrots should be tender but with a little bite. Drain and serve with dill yoghurt and toasted cumin seeds.

This post is sponsored by Åhléns and as always, photos and words by me.

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White bean dip with ramps and chili

Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen :: White bean dip with ramps and chili

Ramps season is finally on again. And the other day, on my morning walk in the woods nearby, I found the first green fragrant ramp leaves peeking up towards the sky. Ramps (or wild garlic , or ramsons) with their unique flavor, reminiscent of garlic, leeks and chives, is perfect for dip sauces, pestos and other “no-cook” dishes as the flavors are best preserved when kept raw.

I have previously made this dip with garlic (half a clove is enough) and fresh rosemary, but now that I had all of these fresh ramps I wanted to give it a try in this dip. And it was delicious!

Perfect for dipping raw veg, or as a bread spread. And with canned beans this is made in less than five minutes – perfect when you need a quick healthy snack, or when you have visitors on short notice.

Enjoy!

White bean dip with ramps and chili

1 can large white beans (e.g. butter beans), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup fresh ramps (green parts only), loosely packed
3 tbsp mild extra virgin olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
pinch of sea salt

1) Rinse and clean the ramps well. Chop the leaves roughly.
2) In a food processor or blender combine the beans, olive oil, lemon juice, chili flakes and salt and blend until completely smooth. This will take a few minutes, and you might need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times.
3) Add the ramps and whiz again until the ramps start to blend with the bean dip, but with some greens visible.
4) Transfer to a jar or bowl and decorate with chili flakes and chopped ramps.

Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen :: White bean dip with ramps and chiliSonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen :: White bean dip with ramps and chili

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Blueberry, parsnip & maca breakfast muffins

Blueberry, parsnip & maca breakfast muffins :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Days are longer and brighter again and we’ve spotted the first signs of spring in our garden and around town. Daffodils, crocuses and snowdrops and are peeking up towards the sun here and there, and everything bursts of hope once again. Happiness!

I just popped by today to share the latest version of an old favorite recipe of mine. I’ve made several versions of these muffins, using different fruit and berries each season – or frozen any time of the year. But this time I wanted to make an even healthier muffin for breakfast and snack purposes. I think this is the best version ever.

Lightly sweetened with coconut sugar, and with the grainy goodness from wholegrain spelt and oats, these muffins are the perfect companion for a long lazy breakfast or a fast snack on the go. And the addition of grated parsnip, frozen blueberries and coconut oil result in a super moist and fragrant muffin you won’t be able to resist.

I have never been a huge fan of so called “super-foods” from countries far away. I think we should all try to use ingredients sourced as close as possible to where we live. But I really wanted to give maca powder a try when I was told it can actually reduce PMS, and now I add it everyday to my smoothies (it’s especially good with cacao!) hoping for good results in that area. And this is my first attempt to use it in baking, realizing it actually adds an interesting earthiness that goes very well with the parsnip. This recipe contains both chia seeds and maca powder for that extra power boost, but you can omit both if you like.

Happy baking!

Blueberry, parsnip & maca breakfast muffins :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Blueberry, parsnip & maca breakfast muffins

makes 12

1 cup (110 g) wholegrain spelt flour
3/4 cup (90 g) fine spelt flour
1/3 cup (50 g) rolled oats
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp maca powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp aluminium free baking powder
1 tsp bicarb soda

1/2 cup (100 g) coconut sugar
250 ml greek yoghurt
125 ml un-scented coconut oil, melted (butter works fine too)
1 small parsnip (50-60 g), finely grated
zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs

3/4 cup frozen blueberries

1) Preheat the oven to 180° C (360° F). First whiz the oats in a food processor or blender a few seconds until almost flour-like. In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients.
2) Place the coconut sugar, yoghurt, coconut oil, grated parsnip, lemon zest and eggs in a second bowl and beat until well blended.
3) Add the egg mixture to the flour with the blueberries. Use a rubber spatula to fold together gently until just combined. Do not overmix.
4) Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cups and divide the mixture among the muffin cups.
5) Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean. Leave the muffins in the tin for 5 minutes before removing.

These are best the day they’re made or the day after, but you can freeze any leftovers and thaw at room temperature about an hour before eating.

Blueberry, parsnip & maca breakfast muffins :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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A simple rye bread sandwich with marinated goat cheese and golden beets

A simple rye bread sandwich with marinated goat cheese and golden beets :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

I haven’t been sharing here in a while (again!) and I am truly sorry about that. Both for you – if you missed my posts, that is. But also for myself. I really do love this space. To produce blog posts and share my recipes and thoughts here is a way for me to be creative on my own terms. On my own initiative.

I didn’t really have the time to blog this week either. But while working on a client project the other day, I quickly photographed my lunch. Because I really wanted to share the recipe for this marinated goat cheese by the lovely Amy Chaplin.

Her book At home in the whole food kitchen is definitely one of the cookbooks that I’ve used the most over the last year. And the recipe for this very simple (but oh-so-good!) marinated goat cheese is from the book. It is one of my favourite things to have handy, and it makes any sandwich, salad or pasta meal beyond delicious in an instant!

A simple rye bread sandwich with marinated goat cheese and golden beets :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's KitchenA simple rye bread sandwich with marinated goat cheese and golden beets :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

This kind of open faced sandwich is something I often stick to for lunch (after all I’m half Danish) when I don’t have the time for, or don’t feel like cooking. A couple of these and a cup of green tea and I’m quickly refreshed and ready to work again.

I hope you like it! Be back soon!

Marinated goat cheese

Recipe by Amy Chaplin

1 8-ounce (about 200 g) fresh goat cheese log, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
3 garlic cloves, halved lenghtwise
4 fresh bay leaves

1) Lay goat cheese in a single layer on the bottom of a clean and dry glass jar. Pour in enough olive oil to cover cheese.
2) Add a couple sprigs of thyme, a few peppercorns, 2 pieces garlic and a bay leaf. Continue layering the remaining cheese, oil and seasonings until you have used up all ingredients.
3) Lightly press the last layer of cheese down to make sure it’s completely submerged in oil.
4) Seal the jar and place in the fridge to marinate for one week (I usually can’t wait that long though) before using. Bring to room temperature before serving.

TIP! The oil is delicious drizzled over toast or pasta, with or without the cheese, or you can use it in salad dressings.

A simple rye bread sandwich with marinated goat’s cheese and golden beets

Danish rye bread or similar
marinated goat’s cheese (above)
golden beets, cooked and cooled
fresh thyme
sprouted garden cress
drizzle of olive oil from the cheese jar
sea salt & black pepper

1) Spread a thick layer of goat cheese on the bread of your choice. Slice the beets thinly and arrange them on top of the cheese. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh thyme, sprouted garden cress and s+p.

A simple rye bread sandwich with marinated goat cheese and golden beets :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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A rustic Caesar salad with tahini dressing, rye bread croutons and Västerbottensost

Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen :: A rustic Caesar salad with tahini dressing, rye bread croutons and Västerbottensost

I love salads, and especially rustic hearty ones that make you feel good and have you stay full for several hours. This fall I partnered with Västerbottenost (a Swedish aged hard cheese) to create a recipe suitable for wintry (Christmas) gatherings. And this rustic salad is my contribution to the collection of 20 fantastic recipes using Västerbottensost.

Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen :: A rustic Caesar salad with tahini dressing, rye bread croutons and Västerbottensost

Find my recipe in Swedish here, along with many other inspiring fellow bloggers’/foodies’ recipes. Explore the Västerbottens cheese site or Instagram #magipå20 for more ideas and recipes.

Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen :: A rustic Caesar salad with tahini dressing, rye bread croutons and Västerbottensost

A rustic Caesar salad with tahini dressing, rye bread croutons and Västerbottensost

serves 4-6

2/3 cup beluga lentils + 1 1/4 cup water
8 romaine salad leaves, rinsed and roughly chopped
8 kale leaves, rinsed de-stemmed and finely chopped
2 pears, cut into cubes or wedges
1/2 cup dried cranberries
l/2 cup walnut halves

4 slices rye bread + 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
Västerbotten cheese, shaved

Tahini dressing
4 tbsp tahini
5-6 tbsp water
juice from 1 lemon
2-3 tsp flaxseed oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Västerbotten cheese, finely grated

1) Put all ingredients (except the cheese) for the dressing in a blender and blend well. Add the grated cheese and store the dressing in a bowl or bottle in the fridge until using.
2) Rinse the lentils well and cook in 1 1/4 cup water with lid on for about 15-20 minutes. Let cool in the pot (lid on), this way they keep their consistency and shape better. Once cool, drain well and set aside.
3) Preheat the oven to 150° C (300° F). Spread the walnut halves out evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 5-10 minutes, until fragrant and crispy. Let cool.
4) Cut the rye bread into cubes and fry in rapeseed oil in a skillet until fragrant and crispy.
5) Put all ingredients for the salad in a large bowl and make sure everything is well mixed. Drizzle the tahini dressing over the salad and finish with the croutons and shaved Västerbotten’s cheese.

TIP! If you find it difficult to digest raw kale you can rub it with lemon and oil, or let it “soak” for a while in the tahini dressing prior to using.

Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen :: A rustic Caesar salad with tahini dressing, rye bread croutons and VästerbottensostSonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen :: A rustic Caesar salad with tahini dressing, rye bread croutons and Västerbottensost

Black enamel prep set from Falcon available at Babyssimo shop

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