Our Summer In a Salad

Since we spent so many months traveling, this past winter, we agreed to stay in Sweden and Denmark this summer. It turned out to be a great decision. We can find one hundred annoying things to say about Sweden during the dark winter, but during the summer this country is pretty nice. Here are a few snapshots of some good moments.

We have been visiting our friends summer houses and eating late dinners outside. When it comes to food we have repeatedly been eating the same things this summer: salads and grilled vegetables (oh, and this falafel). And sometimes, when we felt like we needed some variation, we made salads with grilled vegetables.

Elsa’s favorite position has always been on the kitchen counter, keeping us company as we prepare the food. Give her a few months and she will probably do the chopping herself …

Here is one of the salads that we made this summer. Can you spot the marinated eggplant? Normally it takes half a day to properly marinate it, but we came up with a summer version that only takes a few minutes, and it’s great in salads. Here is how it is done: Put thin slices of eggplant on the grill until slightly burnt, soak them in olive oil, a dash of white wine vinegar, garlic, salt and fresh herbs for 10 minutes, done!

When one of David’s best friends turned 30, he arranged a 3-day festival with live music performances, great food and a snaps bar in the middle of the forest. That is how you celebrate a birthday!

Beetroot, Zucchini & Apple Salad
Serves 6 persons

This is a very light salad, suitable for hot summer days. The zucchini is grilled, but everything else is raw – even the beets – which gives it a very fresh taste and crunchy texture. Top it with macadamia nuts, Queso Manchego and herb dressing.

1 medium size zucchini
100 g macadamia nuts
3 apples
3 Chioggia beets
3 beetroots
100 g rucola
50 g Manchego cheese 

Herb & Mustard Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil 
4 tbsp white vine vinegar
1/3 cup fresh herbs
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 clove garlic
salt & pepper to taste

Preparing the vegetables: Wash the zucchini and cut it in _ -inch slices. Grill them for about 1 minute on each side and set aside. Roast the macadamia nuts in pan on medium heat for a couple of minutes. Wash the apples and peel and rinse the Chioggia beets and beetroots. Slice them all as thin as you can.

Preparing The Herb & Mustard Dressing: Put all ingredients in a mixer or blender and mix until you get a smooth sauce. Taste.

Assembling the layers: Place a slice of apple, a slice of beetroot, a slice of grilled zucchini, a slice of Chioggia beet and some rucola leafs on top of each other. Repeat three more times. Drizzle the Herb & Mustard Dressing, shave some slices of Manchego cheese and top with a couple of roasted macadamia nuts.

If the grill is still warm after the dinner, you can use the heat to make a quick dessert. Put some fresh strawberries on the grill and let them stay until soft. Serve on a plate, topped with a dollop of yogurt with fresh vanilla and cardamom.

Photos by David & Johanna Frenkel