12 Scandinavian Dishes You’ll Want to Make All Summer
It's time to get to know these Nordic staples.
Published May 2, 2017 6:00 AM
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With new restaurants popping up in major cities across the U.S., it’s clear that Nordic cuisine is trending. Scandinavian food has always been fantastic, thanks to fresh ingredients and simple preparations. Nordic chefs have a great love for ingredients one would find foraging in the woods, as well as fresh vegetables, lots of seafood, and uncomplicated seasonings. Your breakfast, lunch, and dinner routines are about to become a bit more exciting.
Lohiketto (Fish Soup)
This Finnish soup from Oliver Magazine incorporates fresh dill, potatoes, and white fish. It tastes like summer, and it’s ready to slurp in under 30 minutes. Usually, the recipe calls for heavy cream, but we made this dish a few times with whole milk—it turned out perfectly fine and made the soup lighter for warmer months.
Kohlrabi and Potato Salad
This is the potato salad to end all summer potato salads. The comfort of the potatoes, the tanginess of kohlrabi, and a good handful of dill make this salad perfect for potlucks and picnics. Add some roasted chicken, and you have a well-rounded lunch.
Köttbular (Swedish Meatballs)
No need to wait until your next IKEA visit to indulge in this famous Scandinavian dish via The Recipe Critic. These Swedish meatballs in cream sauce are best served with simple boiled potatoes and cranberry jam. Since you have to roll the meatballs, make a big batch and freeze some for easy weeknight dinners.
Smoked Salmon & Farro Salad
Created by Finland’s Masterchef 2013 winner, Kira Åkerströ, this salad proves that using the right ingredients creates the perfect taste and balance—without excessive seasoning. A little preserved lemon, a good mix of herbs, and some shallots are everything you need to make the other ingredients pop.
The Perfect Danish Hot Dog
The Danes love their hot dogs, and the hot dog wagons sprinkled across Copenhagen are a national treasure. While the American hot dog varies from state to state, the Danish hot dog almost always follows the same template. The bun, the dog, Danish remoulade, ketchup, mustard, crispy and raw onions, and sliced dill pickles.
Danish Pickled Cucumbers
It doesn’t get any more fresh than this easy side dish from Sweet Paul. Served in almost all Scandinavian countries next to fish and chicken, this salad is made in no time and will give your meal a fresh note. If you like it a bit more creamy, you can add a spoon or two of sour cream.
This classic from Scandinavia is also a brunch staple here. And while it sounds a bit intimidating to cure salmon at home, believe us, it isn’t. You just need some patience. Try impressing your guests next time with this delicious and stylish salmon platter by Honestly Yum.
(Open-Faced Sandwiches) Another traditional dish from Scandinavia: the famous smørrebrøds. The open-faced sandwiches are served at almost every restaurant for breakfast and lunch. The good thing about smørrebrøds is that you can mix and match as you please. There are no rules. The more colorful, the better—like this collection by Green Kitchen Stories.
Fish and peas in a creamy sauce topped with mashed potatoes and oven-baked until golden-brown—need we say more? This dish from Jamie Oliver is comforting and suitable regardless if it’s summer or winter. Serve with a simple green salad with lots of herbs.
Finnish Spinach Soup
Served with a soft boiled egg and rye crisps, this spinach soup from Scandi Foodie is quick to whip up and makes a perfect lunch staple or healthy Netflix binge bite.
Norwegian Breakfast Porridge
This rice pudding from The Modern Proper is filling and will also satisfy your sweet tooth first thing in the morning. Traditionally topped with plum compote and cinnamon, you can also switch it to fresh fruit, vanilla sauce, or anything else that makes you happy.
Pulla (Finnish Cardamom Buns)
A beloved sweet treat in Finland and Sweden, these buns can be found at any bakery or coffee shop, usually accompanied by coffee and long chats. We think this recipe from My Blue and White Kitchen is a great alternative to the breakfast cinnamon bun.