The first recipe in this book shows you are on a different culinary path: Rye and Banana Bread. Now, there’s a combination that you surely have not eaten, unless you grew up in Scandinavia. In those lands, your market basket is often filled with “other” things. Things like cloudberries, lingonberries, nettles, cardamom, liquorice, rye flour, spelt flour, and malt powder. Liquoice. Why liquorice? This is Scandinavia, long winters, cold winters and consequently people had coughs. At the turn of the 19th century, liquorice-flavored cough syrups appeared. And were used. And the attraction to liquorice began and has only amplified over time. So, on page 165, you will find liquorice powder employed in Liquorice Ice Cream.

There is a summer in Scandinavia and those folks do, really do, eat outdoors and picnic like those of us from warmer climes. For those days where you want to eat lighter and brighter, you’ll find chapters for:

  • Breakfast & Brunch
  • Open Sandwiches
  • Salads & Sharing Plates
  • Larger Plates & Mains
  • Cake & Fika
  • Breads
  • Desserts & Drinks

Common names for chapters, I admit. But, the contents of those chapters are quite “uncommon” for most of us. Here’s smattering of the lovely ideas, the ones I find quite surprising:

Blueberry Porridge

Chicken Open Sandwich [rich chicken salad on top of sourdough prepped with cream cheese and cucumber slices]

Black Rice and Summer Salad

Curried Cauliflower and Rye Grain Salad

Nettle Dip [tastes like spinach say the authors!]

Beef Lindstrom Burgers [beef + beet, cucumber, capers, mashed potato and topped with a fried egg!]

Elderflower Everything Cake [elderflower sponge cake, elderflower pastry cream, cream cheese frosting topped with elderflowers]

Gooseberry Pavlova

Rhubarb Drink [rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice, cardamom]

Homemade Aquavit [vodka doctored with dill and sugar! Or fennel and sugar!]

There are lots and lots of those open-faced sandwiches. These are dramatically beautiful dishes. A base of wonderful bread, say rye, topped with a maze of ingredients: proteins, veggies, and condiments. Those mixtures are so beautiful that folks don’t want to hide them with another slice of bread. So, you are served your sandwich and you’ll grab your knife and fork. Here are some of the impressive ideas:

Fish Cakes with Homemade Tartar Dressing

Hot-Smoked Trout with Dill and Apple

Avocado and Egg

Skagenrora [shrimp + crème fraiche, mayonnaise, dill, chives, lemon zest, mustard, horseradish]

Cottage Cheese, Cucumber and Radish

Beet, Egg and Pumpkin Seed

When you see pictures of Scandinavians, you generally see happy, smiling people. Read this book and you’ll understand why. Cook for yourself from Scandikitchen Summer, and you’ll be smiling too. Delicious ideas presented in easily followed recipes: this is an excellent book for your summer reading. And eating.