Saturday, 29 October 2016

Hot-Smoked Salmon, Roasted Garlic And Apple Salad - And A Book Review

Catching up with old friends has been the Pickings household's theme lately.  We realised to our dismay that we had only seen these particular friends a couple of times this year.  So a dinner catch-up was in order asap.  And this meant a rush to my cookbooks to find some tasty recipes.  

I have a couple of Nordic cookbooks on my shelves at the moment - well, who doesn't? - so I chose from one of them a salmon and apple salad for the starter.  You may laugh but I have never bought a radish before in my life, and have hardly ever eaten them. This salad has radishes, and I was pleasantly surprised. Crunchy and with a bit of heat, they were a great addition to the rich fish.    

radish-y doodle

Serves 4:


1 head of garlic (yep, a whole bulb)

250g. of plain Greek yoghurt or your fave thick brand

100 mls. milk

a pinch of pepper - black or white

sea salt flakes, to taste

500g. hot-smoked salmon or trout

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cucumber, finely sliced

3 radishes, thinly sliced and placed in cold water

1 Granny Smith apple or any green cooking apple, thinly sliced and placed into cold water with a bit of lemon juice

150g. green leaves - the author says to use watercress or mâche, but I used baby spinach as I could find neither

1/2 lemon, juiced


First roast your garlic in a 200C oven for 20-25 minutes; I have individual cloves in my freezer so I wrapped 10 of them in alfoil, sprinkled on a wee bit of olive oil and baked till they started going golden

Let them cool off before squeezing the flesh out of the skins into a bowl and mashing with a fork

Add the yoghurt, milk and pepper and stir gently together

Break the fish up gently into a large bowl, and combine with the onion, cucumber, radishes (which have been drained), the apple (also drained) and the green leaves.  Tip the salad carefully onto a serving plate or bowl, and drizzle over the yoghurt sauce

Sprinkle the lemon juice over the salad


Apparently the average head of garlic has 10-15 cloves, just so you know, so ramp it up if you wish

Confession time: I forgot to put the radishes and the apple into cold water of any kind!  I just sliced them and added to the salad.  Our guests loyally said they were sure it was better done that way

The yoghurt sauce can be kept in the fridge for up to a week

roasted garlic cloves 

ingredients gathered

squueze out the garlic and mash with a fork

mix the sauce together 

sauce drizzled over the fishy salad

We all loved this salad and I have quite a few post-it notes stuck in the book for future exploration.  See below :=)  And yes they are Daleks.

recipes galore to try later

The author is an Aussie chef, writer and food stylist who married a Swedish girl and moved to Sweden.  He went about discovering Nordic dishes, and taking glorious photos of the food and the countryside.  His central idea is "to celebrate traditional Scandinavian preparing them in contemporary ways."

He starts off by explaining ingredients and cooking processes like pickling and brining. The recipes are broken up into From the Sea, The Land and The Forest.  I think you could safely say it is a bit of a hodge-podge as there is no clear delineation, as in most cookbooks, of starters, mains and sweets.  

There is a helter skelter of dishes like nettle dumplings - he suggests you touch one with your bare hands if you are unsure when picking them - ouch!   There is venison, there is skyr - an Icelandic kind of yoghurt I think, cake made with barley and berries, and cod with cabbage.  

And so it goes.  Lots of really different dishes to the norm; unless you are Scandinavian of course.  The food photos are beautifully styled, and the scenery makes you want to rush off right now.  I am enjoying this book, and will update you on further recipes.

my radish doodle again


  1. Mr Pickings agrees with the guests - this salad was amazing. We all gobbled it up super fast. I reckon the non-soaking of radishes was a lucky accident, as the crunch and taste was great. The garlic sauce was really mild. All round a wonderful effort by Mrs Pickings!

  2. Ooh I had some Skyr in Denmark. It's like a buttermilk soup! Very good and refreshing and often served as dessert.

    1. That's interesting Lorraine. I wondered what it was like. :)

  3. No Nordic books on my shelves, due to a self imposed ban on cookbook purchases. I need to slow down and read the ones I have. Besides, who needs cookbooks when you can read your friend's blog?

    1. i keep saying i won't buy any more books fiona but! somehow i do. and of course i have had to buy liz's book out at the moment. you know that japanese expression tsundoku? that's me to a T. piles and piles of TBR books!

  4. I don't have any Nordic cookbooks...maybe I need to??? I don't know much about the cuisine and would like to. Looks yummy Sherry.

    1. oh it is a fab dish jem. and yes i think Nordic cuisine is very interesting but you have to like a lot of fish and bread!


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