|the midsummer pole to be danced around|
The protein varies from sausages to some slab of meat or fish, but we of course opted for a vegetarian alternative, in this case, mushroom marinated tofu. There is always a potato salad perfumed with dill, red onion and sour cream. And beets, either roasted or in salad form.
But our favorite dish is a cheese pie with Västerbotten cheese, which is produced in northern Sweden and tastes like an excellent sharp cheddar -- a good substitute. It's creamy, nutty, sharp and melty, so I highly suggest you try to acquire it. While we've broken from tradition in all other ways, we made Västerbottenpaj -- it's much like a quiche, but loaded with cheese, so you can't go wrong!
Another tradition during midsummer is for a single gal to pick 7 wild flowers and place it on her pillow during the night. This will grant her her dream man! Well, it worked for me -- 3 years ago, I picked wild flowers, with the help of my dream man, and he did become my dream husband. This time of year boasts the loveliest wildflowers in Stockholm, like the gentle daisy and the most fragrant roses.
So even if you're not in Sweden, I hope this array of dishes will guide you into your own midsummer feast!
1 eggplant, small, palm-sized
1 tbs whole grain mustard
1 tbs vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
1 tbs fresh dill
Sautee the eggplant until tender. In a glass jar, add all the ingredients. Check for seasoning. Refrigerate overnight, or for at least 3 hours prior to eating at room temperature.
1 kg fresh potatoes, washed and scrubbed
a handful of fresh dill
1 medium red onion, sliced thinly
1/4 cup capers, chopped
2 tbs dijon mustard
2 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
A squeeze of lemon
Boil the potatoes until tender. Chop them to your liking. In a large bowl, mix mustard, oil, salt, pepper, lemon, capers, onions, and the warm potatoes. Check for seasoning. Lastly, add the fresh dill.
Västerbottenpaj (Cheese pie)
Your favorite pie crust
150g västerbotten cheese, grated (extra-sharp cheddar is a good substitute)
3/4 cup 2% or mellan milk
1/4 tsp salt and pepper
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1. Blind bake your pie crust in a 9-inch tart pan for 15 minutes at 350F or 180C, then take off the pie weights/beans and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes, until lightly golden and cooked.
2. Sauté onion in 1 tbs olive oil until golden. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Layer the onion in the cooked tart shell, then layer the grated cheese. In a separate bowl, beat the egg, milk, salt and pepper. Place the tart on a sheet pan. Carefully and evenly pour the liquid onto the cheese mixture. Bake in a preheated 200C or 400F oven for 20 - 30 minutes, until puffed around the sides and set. Allow it to rest for 20 minutes before unmolding.