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.

Vegetable Bearnaise

condiments, Sauce, Dinner, Sides, VegetablesTove Balle-PedersenComment
Vegetable Bearnaise.JPG


When you talk sauce, I'm a true Dane. I love sauce, and lots of it. But if you go the classic French sauce way, you have to use large amount of butter or other fats. I learned to perfect the traditional sauce bearnaise made in a blender or made sous vide. And even though they taste delicious, and a little goes a long way, it would be nice to have a sauce bearnaise where you can indulge in the tasty sauce, without eating a whole stick of butter with your steak. Vegetable bearnaise is the answer. With only 6 tablespoons of butter in a big bowl of sauce, that serves 6-8 sauce lovers, this is definitely on the healthier side, compared with the original bearnaise.

You can add pretty much any vegetables you like, just bear in mind that more carrots will give you a sweeter bearnaise. and generally the color of the vegetables will influence the color of the sauce. 

If you like a spicier bearnaise add a dash of cayenne or chilies to the mix. And for a garlic bearnaise add 1 cloves of garlic the last 5 minutes of the simmering. 

Serves 6-8.



  • 1 bunch fresh tarragon, save some leaves for finishing the sauce
  • 4 small or 2 medium shallots, minced
  • ½ cup (1 dl) white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup (1 dl) dry white wine
  • 6 whole black peppers (for the reduction)

Vegetable base:

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped 
  • ½ medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped 
  • 2-3 celery stalks, peeled and roughly chopped 
  • ½ medium cauliflower, in florets
  • ½ cube chicken bouillon 
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon

Finishing touches:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, salted and cold
  • 2-4 tablespoons reduction, to taste
  • 3 sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves only, coarsely chopped 
  • salt, to taste



In a small saucepan, combine sprigs of the tarragon, shallots, vinegar pepper and wine over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat, strain the liquid and set it aside to cool. You can make larger amounts and freeze it in smaller portions in an ice cube tray.

Vegetable base:

Place the ingredients for the vegetable base in a saucepan, and bring it to a boil, turn down the heat and let the vegetable simmer covered for about 20-30 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. 

Put vegetable base, butter and reduction into a blender*. Season the sauce with salt and more reduction. Mix in the tarragon just before serving.


*Be careful when blending hot liquids, it can make the lid pop off, and you may risk getting serious burns on you skin. You can remove the small cap on you blender lid and cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel. You need to hold on to the lid and towel. This will let the steam from the hot soup escape and avoid the lid from popping off. You can also get blenders like the Vitamix, where you can blend hot liquids, without any hassle.

Pickled Red Onions

condiments, Sides, veganTove Balle-PedersenComment
Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red Onions

These pickled onions are so good on a hotdog or a burger. Skip the raw onions and give these a try, you will not regret it. 

Danes like pickled things. My parents had a large vegetable garden, so my mom pickled a lot of the vegetables. I think most cultures pickle their different crops and even fish and meats to preserve them, for times with less abundance of fresh produce. Nowadays we do not have to preserve our produce, because of the global trading. You will always be able top get fresh strawberries, even in January. In my point of view this makes them less special, and you do not appreciate them as much, when you don't have to wait for the seasons.  From an economical and environmental standpoint, eating local produce when they are in season makes more sense. In a perfect world I would do that, and in my imperfect world I strive to do that.


  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1 cup (240 ml) vinegar, I prefer a white vinegar
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 10-15 peppercorn (I used red)
  • 2 dried chilies


Scald a glass jar and lid with boiling water, set aside. 

Thinly slice the red onions. Place the sliced onions in the glass jar.

Bring the vinegar to a boil, and dissolve the sugar in it. Add the spices and let it come to a boil again. Pour the hot vinegar over the onions until they are covered. Put the lid on, and let the onions cool down, 
Serve the onions on hotdogs, burgers or as a tangy side to your dinner.



Cranberry - Orange Sauce

Christmas, condiments, Dinner, Holiday, Sauce, Thanksgiving, veganTove Balle-Pedersen1 Comment
Cranberry - Orange Sauce

Cranberry - Orange Sauce


I'm cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner this year, making my first turkey. Even though I have never roasted at turkey before, I do sometimes make cranberry sauce for the traditional Danish Christmas dinner. This is my favorite recipe:

Makes about 2 cups.


  • 1 orange, zest and juice

  • 200 ml water

  • 125 g sugar

  • 340-350 g fresh or frozen cranberries


Heat orange juice, orange zest, sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.

Stir in cranberries and bring it to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until sauce has  slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes, and most of the berries have bust.

Let cool completely before serving.


Pickled Chilies

condiments, Preserve, VegetablesTove Balle-PedersenComment

Last Sunday I went to my local Farmer's Market looking for chili peppers. I have been wanting to pickle chilies for so long. Last year I grew my own, but I used them all in my cooking, leaving no leftovers to pickle. I returned home with a bag filled with habanero, jalapeño, serrano, thai and a no-name red chili pepper. I made a new batch of hot hot sauce and then it was time to pickle the rest.

I like my pickled chilies to be slightly salty and not overly sweet. The sweeter ones are more difficult to pair with dinner. I think I got the right mix of sweet, salty and tanginess to my take in this batch.  

Makes 2 medium jars.


  • 300 g mixed chili peppers (jalapeño, serrano, thai, habanero), sliced
  • 500 ml vinegar
  • 85 g sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds


Bring the vinegar to a boil, add all the sliced chili peppers, and bring it all to a boil. Remove the chilies using a slotted spoon. Place the chilies in 2 cleaned and sterilized* glass jars. 

Add sugar, salt, bay leaves and coriander seeds to the vinegar, and bring it to a boil again. Make sure that sugar and salt is dissolved before pouring the hot vinegar over the chilies. Put the lids on the jars, and wipe the jars clean. Let the pickled chilies cool.

The chilies will keep for at least a month. I only make small batches and keep them in the refrigerator. 

Serve the chilies on sandwiches, as hot snacks or where ever you need a kick to your food. 


*You need to clean the jars and sterilize them by soaking them in boiling water. It goes the same with the lids. Submerge the lid for a few minutes in a bowl of boiling water.