Brown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese

Brown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Spring has finally arrived here in Gothenburg and even if it’s still a bit chilly, the temperature is starting to rise. Little by little every day now. Undoubtedly spring is the time for asparagus and wild garlic, and this comforting noodle dish has become one my favorite easy recipes for those April days when there is still a little chill in the air.

This dish is all about the quality of the ingredients, so try to source the best possible you can find. These are my favorite gluten-free noodles, but you could also use a good quality whole wheat pasta. If you can’t find wild garlic (ramps) for the pesto – try experimenting with a mix of chives, baby spinach and garlic. And if you can – try to source organic ingredients. The season for asparagus in Sweden is not quite here yet, so for now I buy mine (organic from Spain) here. This is also where I get my wild garlic, as we don’t have any wild growing nearby.

This dish is super simple to throw together once you have made the pesto. And I call it a pesto, even if I omitted the parmesan cheese and replaced the classic pine nuts with sunflower seeds. And be sure to hand crush your peppercorns (in a pestle and mortar) and it will add a classy touch to this simple dish!


Brown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's KitchenBrown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Brown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese

serves 4

For the pesto
50 g (1/3 cup) sunflower seeds
80 g (about 2 cups) wild garlic leaves
1/2 cup mild extra virgin olive oil
1/3 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 tsp hand crushed black pepper corns

1) Preheat the oven to 150° C (300° F). Rinse the sunflower seeds under running water and drain well.
2) Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the drained seeds out in a single layer. Place on the middle rack of oven and toast for 10-12 minutes. Stir and continue toasting for another 10-12 minutes until fragrant.
3) Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.
4) Rinse the wild garlic and drain well. Place all the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor and blitz for a minute or two until well blended. If needed, stop to scrape the pesto down the sides.

You won’t need all of this pesto for 4 people, so keep the leftovers in a jar and place in the fridge for later use. Keeps for 1-2 weeks when completely covered with oil.

For the noodles
250 g brown rice noodles (or pasta of your choice)

500 g (2 bunches) fresh asparagus, the tops (keep the stems for e.g. a soup)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
pinch of fine sea salt
pinch of hand crushed black pepper corns

100 g soft goats cheese, crumbled
chives (optional), finely chopped
toasted sunflower seeds (optional)

1) Cook the noodles according to instructions on the package. Keep noodles in the pot with lid on until using.
2) Rinse and cut the tops off of the asparagus and save the stems for e.g. a soup. Heat olive oil in a skillet and add the asparagus tops. Stir fry until just tender and season with sea salt and black pepper.
3) In the noodle pot add about 5-6 tbsp of the wild garlic pesto and stir until all noodles are coated.
4) Divide the noodles in four big pasta bowls and top with asparagus, goat’s cheese, chives, toasted sunflower seeds and crushed black pepper corns.

Brown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Matfoto & matstyling – workshop i Göteborg 22/5 2015 :: A food photography & food styling workshop

Spring :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

I am so excited to finally announce this workshop that will be my only class this spring, and I hope to see some of you there! It will be held in Swedish – hence the info below in Swedish. But please don’t hesitate to contact me should you be interested in participating anyway!

Det är fantastiskt kul att äntligen kunna öppna anmälan för den här workshopen! Det här blir min enda workshop i vår och den här gången kör jag en lite kortare variant, men med färre deltagarantal än vanligt. Och jag vet att lördagar är populära för er som har “vanliga” jobb, men eftersom jag inte har lyckats frigöra några lördagar under våren blir det en fredag den här gången – och jag hoppas att just Du kan komma!

Det kommer att bli en dag fylld av inspiration och ny kunskap i en inspirerande miljö, styling- och fototips samt massor av vacker och fräsch säsongsmat att fota – och äta. Vi kommer att styla och fota två sköna vårinspirerade rätter (en matig och en dessert) och om våren sköter sig kan vi även botanisera bland färska rädisor, rabarber och gröna blad från köksträdgården! Och så äter vi förstås upp maten när vi har fotat den.

A Spring food photography & food styling workshop :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

***Workshopen är slutsåld!***

Plats & Tid
Workshopen kommer att hållas i GöteborgTandkullegatan 40, Västra Frölunda – den 22/5 klockan 9.30-14. Du tar dig enkelt hit med spårvagn nummer 11 eller med bil.

Pris: 2 500 sek (inkl. moms) – fika, två rätters lunch och kursmaterial ingår.

Vi kommer bland annat att gå igenom
• Mitt arbetsflöde från val av rekvisita och råvara till färdig bild – jag visar steg för steg hur en typisk matfotografering kan se ut
• Naturligt ljus – hur använder man det på bästa sätt?
• Tips och tricks – styling, komposition, färg och textur m.m.
• Kamerainställningar, vinklar, utrustning m.m.
• Efterbehandling (Lightroom, Photoshop)

Förkunskaper och mål
Workshopen riktar sig till dig som har ett stort intresse för mat och att fotografera den. Du vill utvecklas i att använda naturligt (befintligt) ljus och rekvisita för att på ett enkelt sätt kunna fota mat hemma. Egen kamera (helst SLR) samt baskunskaper om den krävs för att kunna hänga med i tempot.

Gör så här för att anmäla dig
Mejla din anmälan till eller ring på +46(0)705 505 501. Ange ditt fullständiga namn samt postadress och telefonnummer. Ange också om du har någon matallergi eller preferens.

Max antal deltagare är sex personer.

Villkor för anmälan
Anmälan är bindande och kursavgiften betalas via faktura (10 dagar) vid anmälningstillfället. Ej betald avgift efter påminnelse kan innebära avbokning av platsen. För avbokning (som ej beror på sjukdom) mindre än tre veckor före kursstart debiteras halva kursavgiften. För avbokning (som ej beror på sjukdom) mindre än en vecka före kursstart debiteras hela kursavgiften.

Om Dagmar’s Kitchen (Sonja Dahlgren) av någon anledning skulle bli tvungen att ställa in workshopen (allvarlig sjukdom, familjeangelägenhet etc.) återbetalas hela det inbetalade beloppet.

Vid färre än fyra anmälda förbehåller Dagmar’s Kitchen sig rätten att ställa in workshopen och återbetalar i så fall hela det redan inbetalade beloppet.

Varmt välkommen med din anmälan!

Spring plate :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Wholemeal chocolate & hazelnut cookies with cocoa nibs and fleur de sel

Wholemeal chocolate & hazelnut cookies with cocoa nibs and fleur de sel :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

First of all my apologies for not posting here in a while. Time passes so quickly (don’t you agree?) and work and family have kept me busy.

This past week it seems like the light is finally returning (happy spring dance here!) and that spring might be around the corner. We’ve actually already seen some proof of spring in the form of pretty little snowdrops and crocuses in the garden – and the birds’ song in the evening. I love that birds’ song.

Have you seen any signs of spring where you are?

Spring :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

The recipe that I’m sharing today is actually inspired by a favorite childhood recipe of mine. The original recipe uses more sugar (refined) and regular all-purpose flour, and the shape of the original cookies were squared (flattened out on a baking sheet) and with a very sweet butter cream chocolate frosting on top.

Delicious, but a little on the sweet side for me these days.

So, nothing really resembles the original here – except for the great flavor and the chewy yet crunchy texture. And that texture is what I wanted to achieve in this recipe, because that’s what make these cookies special really.

I used coconut sugar and a tiny bit of dark muscovado sugar instead of the refined counterpart, and I replaced the white flour with wholemeal spelt flour.

It’s still a sweet treat that you might want to reserve for those rare occasions. But with the rounded nuttiness of wholemeal spelt flour, the somewhat bitter crunch of the cacao nibs and the whole hazelnuts, it is so much more satisfying than the original.

And perhaps best of all – you can easily make these cookies happen in less than 30 minutes. Even if I like them best semi-thawed from the freezer…

Coming up soon is also an announcement for a new food styling and photography workshop – the only workshop I will be holding this spring – so keep an eye open!

Enjoy and happy Friday!

Printable recipe

Wholemeal chocolate & hazelnut cookies with cocoa nibs and fleur de sel

makes 12-14 cookies

100 g butter (one stick minus two teaspoons), melted

1/3 cup (60 g) coconut sugar
1/4 cup (35 g) muscovado sugar (light or dark, see note below)
3/4 cup (90 g) regular rolled oats
1 cup (110 g) wholemeal spelt flour
1 tsp powdered vanilla
2 tbsp (raw) cacao
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 tbsp cacao nibs
1/3 cup raw hazelnuts (whole)

2 tbsp date syrup or maple syrup
2 tbsp whipping cream or milk

fleur de sel to sprinkle on top

1) Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2) Melt the butter in a small pot over low heat.
3) In a medium bowl mix all the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter, syrup and cream/milk and mix well with your hands or a spoon/fork until everything is well coated and the oats are blending well.
4) With your hands form cookies about the size of a golf ball and place them on the lined baking sheet. Flatten the cookies lightly and sprinkle with a little fleur de sel before they go in the oven.
5) Bake for 10-12 minutes and let cool on a cooling rack. Keep in an airtight container for a couple of days or in the freezer for months.

TIP! I’ve made these with both light and dark muscovado sugar. Both works well – but if using dark sugar you get a cookie that’s a little richer and maltier.

Wholemeal chocolate & hazelnut cookies with cocoa nibs and fleur de sel :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Blood orange, smoked salmon and edamame salad with mint dressing

Blood orange, smoked salmon and edamame salad with mint dressing :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Over the weekend we were blessed with a couple of days with snow and beautiful winter weather. Something we haven’t seen much of this winter here in Gothenburg. It was such a joy to see the kids rush out in the garden to play first thing Saturday morning, and yesterday we took a wonderful long walk surrounded by sunshine and white landscapes.

Today it’s all gone. Sadly. The rain patters on our windows and sheets of snow and ice are slipping down the roof, making scratchy noises.

It would be the perfect day to make this salad again.

Sunshine on a plate.

Blood orange, smoked salmon and edamame salad with mint dressing :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

I first made it a few weeks ago, when I had nothing in the fridge (well, almost…) but oranges and smoked salmon. And in the freezer I found a packet of frozen edamame beans. And bit by bit this recipe came alive on my kitchen counter.

Since that day I have perfected it with a little mint, alfalfa sprouts and a blood orange dressing. And I’m thinking this would be really good with some crumbled feta cheese or soft goat’s cheese on top as well.

It’s a no-cook recipe making it perfect for lunch on a stressful day or as a starter served on smaller plates.

I hope you like it as much as I do. Enjoy!

Blood oranges :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Printable recipe

Blood orange and smoked salmon salad with mint dressing

serves 2-4

4 blood oranges
200 g cold smoked salmon, thinly sliced or torn into strips
1/2 cup edamame beans, or similar (thawed if frozen)
1 cup alfalfa sprouts, or similar
a handful fresh mint leaves

For the dressing:
juice from 2 blood oranges
1 tsp honey
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

1) To make the dressing, put the orange juice and honey into a cup or small jug. Mix well using a fork and then slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Add salt and pepper to taste and lastly add the chopped mint.
2) Oranges: Cut the top and bottom off, then use a small sharp knife to remove all the skin and pith. Slice them thinly.
3) Arrange all ingredients on a plate (or individual smaller plates) and drizzle with the dressing. Top with fresh mint leaves.

Serve immediately with a slice of toasted rye bread.

TIP! If you’re a vegetarian try using e.g. avocado instead of salmon.

Blood orange, smoked salmon and edamame salad with mint dressing :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Coconut and dark chocolate pots de crème

Coconut and dark chocolate pots de crème :: Dagmar's Kitchen/Sonja Dahlgren

A little over a year has passed since I started writing this blog in English. For those of you who don’t know it was previously written in Swedish, and I have to say for me it’s been such an inspiring journey since the switch. I’ve received so many interesting comments, e-mails and cheering from all over the world. Thank you so much! What would a blog be without its readers?

I also receive a fair amount of e-mails requesting translations for recipes that were written during the Swedish time of the blog. And some of the most popular recipes mysteriously ;) seem to be the ones with chocolate in them.

Like these little pots de crème.

Coconut and dark chocolate pots de crème :: Dagmar's Kitchen/Sonja Dahlgren

So I thought I’d just repost the recipe – this time in English. Because isn’t this what we all need in January – something chocolatey and comforting, but still good for you – just as important!

And because sometimes I have to remind myself of the recipes I posted long ago. I had almost forgotten about this healthier version of “pots de crème” which is such a treat, and healthy enough to eat as an evening snack (or even breakfast if you’re in the mood!) with berries or fruit. Enjoy!

Printable recipe

Coconut and dark chocolate pots de crème

makes 6-8 little “pots”

2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out
1/4 tsp ground cardamom

100 g dark chocolate of good quality, e.g. this one (my new favorite!)
1 can (400 ml) organic coconut milk
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
a pinch of fine sea salt

cocoa nibs and/or coconut chips to sprinkle on top

1) Preheat the oven to 175° C (350° F).
2) In a bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolk with coconut sugar, vanilla seeds and cardamom until light and fluffy.
3) Finely chop the chocolate. Bring coconut milk to the boil, remove from the heat and add coconut oil and the chopped chocolate – whisking until well combined.
4) Add cacao powder and sea salt and pour the batter in small ramekins or jars — make sure to remove the foam that might have formed on top — and place them in a dish filled with hot water, so that they are half immersed.
5) Place the dish on the middle rack in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes. When ready, the middle of the creams should still be moving a little — the creams will settle once they cool down. Take the jars (or ramekins) out and let them cool down. Place a plastic wrap on top and keep in the fridge to rest for at least an hour before eating.

Coconut and dark chocolate pots de crème :: Dagmar's Kitchen/Sonja Dahlgren

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