Nordic Inspiration – Going mad in the kitchen

17 May 2018

I don’t know about you but from time to time I find myself in a bit of a food rut. Without even realising it, I’m not sure if its a mixture of habit, convenience or laziness, we end up eating the same things for dinner every week.

So in a recent bid to liven up family mealtimes, which doesn’t take much with a two year old sat at the table, I decided to add some Scandi flavours to the menu.

Don’t worry my kitchen hasn’t suddenly turned into Noma, nor am I out foraging every weekend, but with the huge amount of Nordic cookbooks now on the market it didn’t take me long to find some much needed culinary inspiration.

Here’s more about some of my current favourites:

The Nordic Cookbook by Magnus Nilsson

Magnus Nilsson is seen as the father of modern Nordic cooking, I know when I interviewed the founders of SKAUS (read the full interview here) he’d been a huge influence on the food they created.

This book is huge with over 700 recipes, all taken from Nilsson’s extensive travels. It’s his own personal take on home cooking, covering everything from gravlax and meatballs through to stuffed puffin and seal soup.

For me, what I love most about this book, is the atmospheric photography he took throughout the trip. It really brings to life the traditional food of the region as well as capturing the raw beauty of the landscape and the warmth of its people.

Scandinavian Comfort Food by Trine Hahnemann

Any book that starts, ‘I live a life that revolves around food’ strikes a chord with me! Trine’s collection of yummy recipes focuses on the Danish way of life and the notion that food, as well as eating together should not only taste good but feel good too.

This book is really attuned with my own personal food tastes, and I particularly like the chapter dedicated to everyday dishes, these have been ideal for quick through the week meals.

Plus I’m totally obsessing over the roasted chicken with rhubarb and tarragon as a summer alternative for Sunday lunch right now.

How to Hygge: The Secrets of Nordic Living by Signe Johansen

From enjoying nature and the great outdoors, the simple pleasure of sharing coffee and cake, through to how to style our homes, this gorgeous little book explores not just food but how to add hygge to every aspect of our lives.

Again I love the simpler, pared back food the most, but helpfully Signe also includes drinks recipes too with a section dedicated to ‘healthy hedonism’.

Who could resist a glass of Scandinavian summer punch on a glorious afternoon, or a champagne and Haribo cocktail after dinner?

Food From the Fire by Niklas Ekstedt

I recently bought this book as an early Father’s Day present for Mr C. We’ve invested so much time and money in our garden recently (read more here) that we’re determined to be out there as much as possible this summer enjoying the fruits of our labour.

So instead of putting charcoal on the BBQ we’re giving cooking over wood a try instead, in the hope of bringing some of Niklas’s unique Swedish cuisine to the heart of South Liverpool.

Plus with great recipes for hot dogs, flat breads and even hot chocolate included there’s something for all the family to enjoy.

ScandiKitchen: Fika and Hygge by Bronte Aurell

I couldn’t compile a list like this without including a book dedicated to baking, and more importantly the amazing Bronte.

Her ScandiKitchen Cafe is always at the top of our visit list when in London, so to be able to recreate some of her amazing cakes, breads and biscuits for fika at home is a must.

I’ve already baked the moorish rhubarb and custard cake several times this season and who knows maybe one day my skills my even reach kransekage standard!

All images by Nicola Capper.

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