Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.


Pickled Cucumbers

condiments, Dinner, Preserve, Snacks, technique, Vegetables, vegan, VegetarianTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Pickled Cucumbers

Pickled Cucumbers

My parents grew their own vegetable in their large vegetable garden, and of course my mom made sure to preserve the large amount of produce by pickling and freezing. We all loved my moms pickled cucumbers, with our dinner or on the open faced sandwiches. Especially on liverpate. So when I found crown dill and pickling cucumbers at my local grocery store, I had to try my moms old recipe. I have a hard time learning that the pickled cucumbers in my world are called pickles here in the States, but eventually I might learn to accept it. 😉

5-8 jars.



  • 200 g salt

  • 2 liters (68 oz) water


  • 1500 g pickling cucumbers

  • 1250 ml vinegar

  • 780 g sugar

  • 13-15 slices fresh horseradish

  • 5 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 2 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 8 crown dill (1-2 in each jar)

  • 6-8 dried red chilies


Combine the salt and water in a pitcher and stir until the salt has dissolved. Rinse the cucumbers thoroughly and snip off the blossom end stem. Prick cucumbers with a table fork. Set aside. Pour the salt water over the cucumbers. Place a plate on top to keep the cucumbers submerged. Let stand 12 hours in the refrigerator. Drain the cucumber and place them in scolded* jars. Add horseradish, dill and the spices to the jars.

I sliced 4 of the cucumbers in thick slices for some more spicy pickles. I placed the slices in 2 smaller jars with 1 fatalii chili in one and 1 habanero chili in the other. HOT HOT HOT  🌶 🌶 🌶  

Boil the vinegar with the sugar, and pour it in the jars, making sure to cover the cucumbers completely. Place the lid on the jars, not tightening them completely.

After 2 days, drain out the vinegar and let it come to a boil, maybe adding more vinegar and sugar. Pour the vinegar over the cucumbers again, adding new horseradish and/or sodium benzoate. Seal the jars tight. Do not boil the horseradish.

*You need to clean the jars and sterilize them by soaking them in boiling water. Same goes for the lids. Submerge the lid for a few minutes in a bowl of boiling water. Rinse jars and lids with alcohol like strong vodka or cognac. 

These will keep for a few months at room temperature, but you can keep them in the refrigerator  too. In my house they won't last long.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

BBQ, Dinner, Sides, Vegetables, VegetarianTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

I love almost all thing mushroom, and grilled portobello mushrooms is right up my alley. It's a quick side for a backyard BBQ. Adding the parmesan make a perfect flavor combination.

The sesame seeds on the photo, is an accidental 'cross contamination' from the chicken on the grill.


  • 2 portobello mushrooms
  • ½ cup (1 dl) freshly grated parmesan
  • about ¼ stick (ca 30 g) butter, salted and soft
  • a splash of olive oil, for brushing the top of the mushrooms 
  • A sprinkle of chopped parsley


Preheat the grill.

Clean the portobello mushrooms with a damp paper towel and remove the stems. Brush the caps with olive oil and set aside gills side up.

Mix butter and parmesan, and divide it evenly over the mushroom caps. Grill over hot grill for about 10 minutes. You want the mushrooms to be soft, but not mushy.  Let the mushrooms rest for a few minutes, to soak up the butter.


Warm Asian-Style Slaw

Dinner, Salad, Sides, vegan, Vegetarian, VegetablesTove Balle-PedersenComment

I love a crunchy slaw. Normally I use napa cabbage and a spicy asian-style dressing, like I used in the angry tacos. But adding the peanut butter to this warm slaw, gives the slaw a nice creaminess. 

This slaw will be perfect for a weekend BBQ, or served with tacos with an asian twist.

Serves 3-4.



  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons grated Serrano pepper
  • 4 tablespoons creamy peanutbutter


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • ½ small red cabbage
  • ¼ green cabbage
  • ½ english cucumber, julienned
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • some fresh coriander, chopped
  • season with salt


Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing, set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok. Sauté carrots while stirring for about a minute,  add the cabbage and keep stirring, while cooking for about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients and dressing, tossing well to coat.

Serve immediately. 


Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Dinner, Sides, vegan, Vegetables, VegetarianTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower was a weird vegetable for me growing up. My mom boiled the h.. out of it, and like many overcooked vegetables it went on my "I don't like that" list. Please DO NOT overcook and especially over-boil your vegetables. 
You can prepare cauliflower so many ways, or just eat it raw, but by roasting it whole like this you get a great nutty flavor, with a crispy surface with a tender and almost creamy center. It might be time consuming but its well worth the wait. 

Serves 3-4.


  • 1 large cauliflower, the one I used was yellow to start with
  • olive oil
  • salt


Preheat the oven with a cast-iron skillet inside to 375℉ (190℃).

Break off and discard the outer leaves from the cauliflower. Cut off the bottom of the stem, being careful not to cut off any of the florets. Using a small sharp knife to cut out the hard core of the cauliflower.  

Rinse the cauliflower, not drying it again. Place the cauliflower core-side up on the cutting board, and drizzle it with olive oil. Rub the oil all over the surface, and sprinkle with sea salt.

Place the cauliflower core-side down in the hot cast-iron skillet. Place an ovenproof pan filled with hot water, to create steam in the oven. Roast the cauliflower for 1½-2 hours, basting it 2-3 times with more olive oil. You want to end up with a nice brown color on the surface and a nice tender inside. You can roast the cauliflower under the boiler for a brief moment in the end to add some more color.

Serve the cauliflower to your favorite protein.


Semi-Dried Tomatoes

Appetizer, Snacks, Vegetables, VegetarianTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Semi-Dried Tomatoes

Semi-Dried Tomatoes

I love love love tomatoes in any way or form. But theses semi-dried tomatoes are pure candy. They are nothing like sun-dried tomatoes, they are soft sweet and with the slight tanginess from fresh tomatoes.

You can use them for almost anything. On sandwiches, pizze (plural of pizza), in casseroles, or stews, in salads and just for a snack.


  • about 500 g cherry tomatoes, the amount is not important
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder


Preheat the oven to 325 ℉ (165℃). 

Rinse the tomatoes, and cut them in halves, or quarters for the bigger ones. 

In a cup combine oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Place all the tomatoes in a large ovenproof dish or sheet pan, and coat them with the seasoned oil. Arrange the tomatoes skin side down, being careful not to crowd them. Bake tomatoes for 25-30 minutes. Reduce the  heat to 200℉ (95℃), and keep baking for another 2-3 hours.

Let the tomatoes cool slightly before storing them in a clean container filled with olive oil. They will keep for weeks in the refrigerator. 

Use the semi-dried tomatoes in salads, with any protein, bruschetta or just eat them as a snack.