After a few days working in Stockholm, I was inspired by the simplicity of Swedish food. It may not be known as being the destination of culinary excellence, but there is more to it than just those iconic meatballs sold at Ikea. Among the delicious crispbread (knäckebröd), their menus brim with fish. Salmon, mackerel and herring, all kinds of white fish, raw, cured, steamed, you name it…served with dill potatoes or yellow boiled potatoes. Simple and puristic.
I was told by a colleague that typically Scandinavians eat six portions a week, that’s 3 times more that what we’re told is recommended for a good token of omega-3 fatty acids. No smorgasbord would be complete without a distinctive Nordic dish called gravad lax or gravlax. The name literally means “grave salmon” and refers to the age old medieval practice of curing it by burying it in the sand above the high-tide line. Cured in salt, sugar, and dill, it’s usually served cold and is not to be confused with its smoked cousin (röktlax) what we know as lox (smoked salmon).
So after three days of enjoying a variation of fish served with potatoes, I was left inspired to mix together a warm salad with both potato and smoked salmon. By throwing in a few other unlikely suspects, I came up with a delicious dish that could easily be served as a fabulous side for a BBQ, a potluck salad or as a delicious ovo-vegetarian meal (or is that pescetarianism? or a level 5 vegan, as described by a character on the Simpsons – “I don’t eat anything that creates a shadow”).
A dressing of spinach and parsley leaves with a touch of tangy lemon gives this simple potato salad a refreshing, summery flavor. Adding the salmon flakes and boiled eggs turns it into a hearty (and much more interesting!) summer meal. This potato and smoked salmon salad is a tasty number!
WARM BABY POTATO AND SMOKED SALMON SALAD
500 g baby new potatoes
200 g smoked salmon, chopped
1 red onion, sliced
50 g baby spinach leaves (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 boiled free-range organic eggs, peeled and quartered
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Cook potatoes in salted water until just tender when pierced with a knife. Drain and when cool enough to handle, cut in half or quarters.
2. For dressing, combine spinach leaves, parsley, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor or hand-held blender.
3. Place the smoked salmon in a non-stick skillet and cook over medium-heat for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon to break up the salmon into flakes.
4. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, flaked salmon and red onion.
5. Toss the salad with the dressing and arrange on a serving platter. Garnish with the quartered eggs. Season with salt and pepper.