Spaghetti with creamy salmon sauce

Right now in Finland we enjoy a truly lovely, sunny weekend, with temperatures going up to 27C in Helsinki! Such weather is not very common here and it makes me appreciate cloudless sky more and more the longer I live here. As much as  the sun awakens my inner resources of energy, it makes me a bit lazy when it comes to cooking. The summer days definitely require light and quick dishes,  made without the necessity of  tedious standing by a burning hot cooker. I made this dish for the first time as a way to clean our fridge from some leftovers, yet the sauce came out so tasty and easy to do that I repeat it from time to time, particularly during hot, lazy days. I prefer to use cold smoked salmon or gravlax, as the fish flavour is more intense, yet any leftover salmon will do, let it be hot smoked one or even oven baked one. It’s a lovely summer lunch dish, to be made in no time. The amounts given below are enough for 2 people.

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INGREDIENTS

spaghetti

250ml crème fraiche

a bunch of dill, finely chopped

5-6 slices of cold smoked salmon, sliced to small pieces

3 tbsp small capers

freshly ground black pepper – quite much

salt and lemon juice to taste

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1. Cook the proper amount of spaghetti for 2 people. In the meantime, slowly heat up crème fraiche.

2. Add dill, capers, pepper and lemon juice and simmer for a minute or two.

3. Add the salmon and immediately take the sauce away from the heat. Season with salt.

Roasted fennel and carrots

I feel quite much bothered when I notice, that I don’t use some particular produce for a longer time. Doesn’t matter if it’s because I forget about it, I’m not used to cook with it or simply dislike it. It just gives me this weird guilty feeling when I pass it by in the shop alley. Recently I got uncomfortable when I’ve realised that we don’t eat fennel. Sure we get it in salads from time to time, but no real cooking is involved whatsoever. And so every time I was standing between peppers and sweet potatoes the fennel bulbs were staring at me, screaming BUY US, WHY DON’T YOU BUY US…. Well I must admit that I’m a compulsive shopper when it comes to food products. I just tend to grab whatever I like, and well, we are not always able to eat everything I manage to throw to the shopping cart. Some time ago I’ve decided to give it a try and fight a bit with my nasty habit. I started to make shopping lists and try to buy only the things that were needed. And somehow I was always forgetting to put fennel on the list and the fennel bulbs just kept on nagging at me. One day I couldn’t manage anymore,  grabbed two of them, threw into my cart and guiltily escaped to the closest cash register. Still, the feeling of committing a crime didn’t cease. I had to use the bulbs fast to forget about them, to be able to clear my mind as soon as they will be swimming in their final trip towards the Baltic Sea. I reminded myself of a very simple recipe that I’ve found while browsing through one of the food porn pages. Luckily I had everything else in the fridge, just do some chopping and that’s it! Thanks Hayley from Buff Chickpea for saving my sanity 😉

INGREDIENTS:
2 fennel bulbs, sliced
3-4 large carrots, peeled, cut
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
grated pecorino cheese
extra-virgin olive oil
fresh dill chopped

Cut the vegetables, throw them into a bowl and sprinkle with olive oil. Add Herbes de Provence , dill and pecorino, mix well and transfer to a baking dish. Sprinkle with some more pecorino. Roast in 180C till nicely browned and soft.

Kohlrabi soup

What is your first food memory? Mine is eating raw baby kohlrabi, freshly picked from my grandpa’s garden. It was always my first choice, let the strawberries and cherries hide, nothing could possibly beat kohlrabi those days. I still love it,  eating it straight as it is or grating into salads. I used to enjoy it raw only, but recently I have discovered how delicious it can be sautéed with parsley and served with browned butter. I thought that why not to try some new way to use this a bit unusual veggie and decided to make a thick, hearty soup out of it. I thought about either combining it with some Indian flavors or focusing on herbal scents. I chose the second option, particularly that I’ve just got from my friend a pack of winter savory and thought that it will fit pretty well with sweet, slightly cabbagy taste of kohlrabi.

I was pretty happy with the outcome. The herbal mix choice hit the spot as it nicely complemented kohlrabi taste. Still, I found the kohlrabi sweetness a tiny bit overwhelming and when making this soup next time I’ll decrease its amount in favor of potatoes or beans.

INGREDIENTS

800g kohlrabi, cubed
2 cloves of garlic sliced
1l of vegetable stock
bunch of parsley, shredded
bunch of dill, shredded
2 tsp winter savory
pinch of cayenne
salt and pepper
walnut oil

1. Sauté kohlrabi and garlic for several minutes. Add the stock, bring to boil, decrease the heat and cook for 10 min.

2. Add the herbs and spices and cook on a small heat till kohlrabi is very soft. Blend the soup. Garnish with walnut oil and parsley.