Pick your nettles by the end of April!
If you have never made any nässelsoppa before, now is your last chance for this year! Nässelsoppa is a superb vitamin rich soup which is popular throughout Sweden. It is fun to make as there is something quite exciting about turning nasty irritating stinging nettles into a delicious meal.
The soup is made from the young spring growth, so in the UK the nettle picking season normally lasts from from mid February until the end of April. (Unless someone kindly cuts the nettles down to produce a fresh new growth.)
The nettles need to be less than 30 cm tall (12 inches) and without flowers because otherwise they are too old and fibrous. For the best flavour, only pick the top 4 or 6 leaves from each spear.
Our recipe is by Maia Brindley-Nilsson from semiswede.com, who has devised some of our most popular recipes, and includes some step-by-step photos to ensure a delicious soup, even if you are making it for the first time. Why not get your rubber gloves out and give it a try?! Read more >>>
Why Swedish food? New visitors to SwedishFood.com may find our short guide useful. Read more >>>
Like to know what other people are making? See our TopTen most popular Swedish recipes. Read more >>>
Chocolate Easter Cake
Easter would not be complete without a chocolate cake. Our recipe is a chocolate addict's dream being very chocolatey and extremely rich, so only serve it in small portions! Take me to the recipe >>>
Cardamom muffins with bilberries and lime
Why not start your Easter Sunday with some wonderful fluffy and tasty cardamom muffins with bilberries (wild blueberries) and lime? I promise that you will not find a better recipe for cardamom muffins anywhere! Take me to the recipe >>>
Cold poached chicken with lemon and rosemary
Swedes often have a smörgåsbord (a buffet meal) at Easter including various type of pickled herring, cold meats and salads. Try our superb recipe for cold poached chicken with lemon and rosemary which is colourful and easy! Take me to the recipe >>>
Venison stew with bilberries and gnocchi
Despite the bright sunny weather it is still quite chilly here in the UK, so it really isn't quite warm enough yet for summer food. If it is still a bit chilly in your part of the world too, why not try our recipe for hjortgryta med blåbär och gnocchi (venison stew with bilberries (wild blueberries) and gnocchi)? It is easy to prepare and doesn't even produce much washing up!
Although bilberries and blueberries are usually associated with sweet dishes they go really well with venison. I use Blåbär 100%, a popular upmarket bilberry juice from Sweden which was even served as an alternative to red wine at the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria, but you could use another bilberry or blueberry juice such as Bleu d'ici (a Canadian juice made from wild berries). You really need something without added sugar, but if you can't find any you could use red wine or press your own juice!
Gnocchi goes really well with the stew and contributes to the ease of preparing the dish so why not give it a try? Take me to the recipe >>>
Is there a new king of Swedish cheeses?
Waitrose, the upmarket UK supermarket chain, have recently introduced their own label version of Västerbottensost which is available to be weighed out at their cheese counters.
It is good to see a leading British supermarket introduce a Swedish cheese in their product range, but is it any good? Is it actually better than the original, which has often been called the king of Swedish cheeses? Read more >>>
New Facebook cover
Please visit our Facebook page if you haven't done so recently. We've just updated the cover picture with a selection of our recipe photos. Please like us on Facebook if you haven't done so already. We all like to be liked, don't we?! Take me to Facebook >>>
Topless Scandinavians taken seriously
Chalked up on a blackboard outside London's Scandinavian Kitchen are comments such as "Free meatballs for nudists" and "Topless Scandinavians", but it is a café that is beginning to be taken seriously. Read our review >>>
Tribute to SwedishFood.com
Allt om Mat (All about Food), Sweden's top selling food magazine, has run a feature on SwedishFood.com called Hyllning till svensk mat (Tribute to Swedish food). It is good to see that Swedes are tacitly approving of our work as we try to make Swedish recipes more accessible to English speakers worldwide!
Try our version of the ultimate Swedish dish
It's over a year since I last made köttbullar med gräddsås (meatballs with cream sauce), the ultimate Swedish dish. I know that many people assume that anyone who likes Swedish food eats meatballs all the time. I don't.
To be honest I tend to curl my nose up at meatballs. It maybe because I want to cook something new and different, but I just don't get excited at the thought of cooking meatballs.
Having said that, the other day, and I don't know why, I suddenly decided it was time I made some köttbullar again. I am pleased I did, perhaps absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
Of course, you might want to know whether my recipe is authentic: are they the same as made by real Swedes? The short answer is that there is not an authentic method.
If you asked ten Swedes about making köttbullar med gräddsås you would get ten different answers. They would be similar for sure, but most Swedes will have their own way and so everyone will use a bit more or a bit less of this or that. Some will want the sauce to be creamier, some will use a different spice (I opt for allspice), but I think most real Swedes would say these meatballs are pretty good.
Is it the best köttbullar recipe?
Yes! I've eaten lots of köttbullar in Sweden, including in some pretty good restaurants, but I think this recipe makes the best köttbullar med gräddsås that I have had anywhere! Yes, really. I guess that's not surprising since I've tweaked the recipe so that it is perfectly spiced for my taste buds and has just the right degree of creaminess for me. If you are looking for a recipe for Swedish meatballs I hope you will try this one and end up agreeing with me.
Even if you don't use my recipe, be sure to serve your meatballs with some pressgurka (pressed cucumber), rårörda lingon (lingonberry sauce) and potatismos (mashed potatoes). They really are the best dishes to accompany köttbullar.
After a year's break, I enjoyed my köttbullar. I decided that my köttbullar med gräddsås dish is really rather pleasant. Not exciting. Just pleasant. Pleasant is good. Try pleasant here >>>
Read our latest Swedishfoodpedia article, about kvarg (quark). It is used a lot in Swedish cooking, where it is also sometimes also called kesella (a brand name). In some some countries it is hard to obtain and the fat content can vary from 0.1% to 40%, so read our suggestions for what to substitute if you can't find it where you live. Read more >>>
Growth in readership continues
SwedishFood.com opened in June 2013 and readership has grown fairly steadily ever since. For instance, the number of pageviews for the last quarter ending on March 31st was our best ever, with a 49% increase on the previous quarter and more than four times the number for the first quarter. Our readers in the last quarter were scattered across a remarkable 131 countries!
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