Swedish Midsummer Menu
Today, the 19th of June, is Swedish Midsummer……it marks the start of the summer holidays for most Swedes, as well as weekend of revelry, with Maypole dancing, singing, picking berries and flowers as well as enjoying food with family and friends, always outside, weather permitting. By way of celebrating Swedish Midsummer with my readers, (I’ll be sharing a British Summer Solstice recipe over the weekend) I’d like to share a simple Swedish Midsummer Menu, as well as talk about “THAT” cheese, Västerbottensost.
At the beginning of May, I was invited to attend a Scandinavian Masterclass with several fellow bloggers; my partner in cooking crime for the day was Amanda from Glamorous Glutton, and I was also joined by Fiona from London Unattached, Claire from Lover of Creating Flavours and Manjiri from Travels for Food. Bronte Aurell from Scandi Kitchen was there to guide us through some of her family recipes that use the delectable cheese that is Västerbottensost.
Västerbottensost is a robust cheese that tastes like a combination of Mature Cheddar and Parmesan; it’s loved by all Swedes, and after tasting a few cubes alongside a glass of wine, I could see why. It’s definitely a cheese with attitude, and yet it has a wonderful light texture, and is not dense at all. It has an interesting history, with the cheese first being made in the 19th century in Burträsk. Folk tales suggest that the cheese was a happy accident when a dairy maid called Ulrika Eleonora Lindström took her eye off the ball when the cheese was in the curdling vat.
Whatever the origins of the cheese, we all enjoyed cooking with it at our Masterclass, as well as eating it later! Our menu for the day, which we all prepared and cooked, comprised:
Västerbottensost Paj (Västerbottensost Cheese Pie)
Swedish Meatballs with Västerbottensost Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Raw Courgette Salad with Västerbottensost Cheese
This sensational Swedish meal was accompanied by Cloudberries, Lumpfish Roe, Sour Cream, chopped red Onions and assorted Swedish pickles and sauces.
But on to my menu for today, which uses some of the Västerbottensost Cheese I was lucky enough to take away with me; I based my menu for Swedish Midsummer on recipes that are traditionally served over this mystical and magical time of the year……we have a Västerbottensost Pie (based on Bronte’s wonderful recipe) with slices of smoked salmon, a light and creamy potato salad with fresh dill, pickled cucumbers, sour cream, red onions and sweet honey mustard sauce. The menu is then rounded off with a stunning show stopper gateau, Swedish Midsummer Cake with Berries and Cream.
The meal was light and packed with fresh herbal flavours, whilst the smoked saltiness of the salmon offset the richness of the Västerbottensost Paj (Västerbottensost Cheese Pie). I was particularly pleased with my recipe for the potato salad, Färskpotatissalad (Swedish Potato Salad); it was light and creamy without the cloying taste and texture of a 100% mayonnaise potato salad, with the dill adding a pleasant and yet subtle aniseed flavour. The meal was such a success, that all my diners requested I repeat the menu for English Midsummer’s Eve, which I will do.
Two of the recipes for my Swedish Midsummer Menu are shared below, with my recipe for Swedish Midsummer Cake with Berries and Cream being found on the Great British Chef’s website, where I am a contributor. I hope my menu has inspired you enough to make it this Midsummer weekend – for more seasonal summer recipes, I have added a link to some of my favourites below, have a GREAT weekend, Karen
Lavender and Lovage Midsummer Recipes: