Beetroot soup, salmony potatoes and nutty cookies: Yotam Ottolenghi’s Scandinavian recipes (2024)

A shared love affair recently revealed itself: it turns out that all of my test kitchen colleagues have a passion for all things Scandinavian. Pilgrimages are made, to Denmark or Sweden, or to Scandi bakeries and restaurants closer to home. Rye crackers are on heavy snack rotation with, more often than not, squiggles of a certain brand of Swedish cod’s roe piped out on top. I’m not sure how right it is to love a food that comes out of a tube like toothpaste, but the stuff is so adored that it has inspired this entire column. Squeezy tubes welcome, but not essential.

Beetroot soup with quick-pickled celery (pictured top)

This fairly traditional take on a Scandinavian beetroot soup, though with a twist by using coriander rather than caraway seeds, and topping it with a quick celery pickle. Finish off with a lovely dollop of soured cream, if you like, for some added richness. And don’t be shy with the black pepper: it adds a wonderful warmth and a good kick.

Prep 10 min
Cook 25 min
Serves 4

4 raw beetroots, peeled and cut into 2-3cm dice (800g)
1 onion (180g), peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
40g unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
4 sticks celery
(160g), trimmed and cut into 3mm-thick slices; leaves reserved and roughly chopped, to serve
2 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed in a mortar
Fine sea salt and black pepper
500ml chicken (or vegetable) stock
1 tsp white-wine vinegar

1 lemon, zest finely grated, to get 1 tsp, and juiced, to get 1 tbsp juice
5g picked dill leaves, finely chopped
Soured cream, to serve (optional)

Put the beetroot, onion, garlic, butter and olive oil in a large saucepan on a medium high-heat, then add half the sliced celery, a teaspoon and a half of the crushed coriander seeds, a teaspoon of salt and a really generous grind of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes, until the onions have softened and the mixture is uniformly deep red in colour.

Add the stock, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes, until the broth has reduced by about a quarter and thickened slightly. Take off the heat.

Meanwhile, put the remaining sliced celery in a small bowl, stir in a quarter-teaspoon of salt and leave to steep for five minutes, until the salt has dissolved and the celery is well seasoned. Add the vinegar and lemon juice, then set aside to pickle until needed.

When you’re ready to serve, mix the dill and celery leaves through the celery pickle. Divide the soup between four bowls and spoon the pickled celery on top, along with some of the pickling liquid. Sprinkle over the lemon zest and the remaining half-teaspoon of crushed coriander seeds and serve straight away, with a dollop of soured cream, if using.

‘Salmony’ potato salad with pickled mustard seeds and crisp onions

Beetroot soup, salmony potatoes and nutty cookies: Yotam Ottolenghi’s Scandinavian recipes (1)

This is based on a favourite test kitchen snack that involves a schmear of mustard and a quick squiggle of Swedish cod’s roe from a tube. We love the mountain of fried onions here, but you can happily use shop-bought, if you prefer.

Prep 15 min
Cook 45 min
Serves 4 as a side

For the crisp onions
500ml sunflower (or vegetable) oil, for frying
1 large onion (180g), peeled and cut into very thin rounds (use a mandoline, if you have one)
2-3 tbsp cornflour
Fine sea salt and black pepper

For the potatoes
700g charlotte potatoes, or new potatoes, cut in half
70g unsalted butter
1 tub salmon relish
(40g) – we used Patum Peperium’s The Poacher’s Relish
10g chives, finely chopped
10g picked dill leaves, finely chopped

For the pickle
1½ tsp white mustard seeds
60g sweet pickled cucumbers, thinly sliced, to garnish, plus 2 tbsp brine

First, make the onions. Put the oil in a medium saute pan on a medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, toss the onions in the cornflour, then fry in two batches, stirring occasionally, for five to seven minutes, until golden. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper, then sprinkle over an eighth of a teaspoon of salt.

Put the potatoes in a large pot of well-salted water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium-high, leave to cook for 12-15 minutes, until tender, then tip into a colander. Wipe the potato pan dry and return it to a medium-high heat. Add the butter and, once that’s melted, stir in the salmon relish, potatoes and a good grind of black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for a minute or two, until the potatoes are well coated, then take off the heat and stir in all the herbs.

Now for the mustard seeds. Put the mustard seeds and two tablespoons of pickled cucumber brine in a small saucepan on a medium heat, leave to cook for three to four minutes, until mustard has puffed up and most of the liquid has been absorbed, then take off the heat.

To serve, spoon the potato mix on to a platter, scatter clumps of the mustard seeds on top, followed by the sliced pickled cucumbers and, finally, a pile of crisp onions.

Pistachio and lime kransekakestenger cookies

Beetroot soup, salmony potatoes and nutty cookies: Yotam Ottolenghi’s Scandinavian recipes (2)

These are inspired by kransekage, a traditional celebratory tower of marzipan cake baked in concentric ring moulds and decorated simply with piped icing. They’re too good to reserve only for special occasions, however, which is why this smaller, cookie version exists. Baked into bars, they’re drizzled with a little bitter chocolate to offset all the sugar – imperative if the cookies are going to achieve the required soft, amaretti-like chew. If you want to get ahead, shape the cookies, then freeze them and bake from frozen for 10 minutes.

Prep 20 min
Cook 15 min
Chill 15 min
Makes 15

For the cookies
100g shelled pistachios
115g caster sugar
1 tsp finely grated lime zest

100g ground almonds
20g runny honey
1 large egg white
⅛ tsp fine salt
½ tsp almond extract
6 cardamom pods
, bashed open, pods discarded, seeds ground in a mortar to get ¼ tsp

To decorate
40g dark chocolate
30g shelled pistachios
, slivered or finely chopped
Flaked salt

Put the 100g shelled pistachios, sugar and lime zest in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until the nuts are finely ground. Add all the remaining cookie ingredients and pulse until they come together into a dough. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover and chill for 15 minutes.

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Using a spoon, divide the dough into 15 rough balls each weighing about 25g, then roll each one into a 6cm-long log; if the dough is too sticky, moisten your fingers with alittle water. Arrange the logs evenly on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, then pinch all along the top of each log so the centre is raised and triangular in shape, a bit like a Toblerone, then push in the ends to straighten them out.

Bake for eight minutes, until the edges are golden brown, then remove and leave on the tray to cool completely. Meanwhile, gently melt the chocolate, either over a bain-marie or in short bursts in a microwave.

Once the cookies are cool, use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate all over the cookies, then sprinkle with the pistachios and a little flaked salt. Set aside until the chocolate has set, then serve.

Beetroot soup, salmony potatoes and nutty cookies: Yotam Ottolenghi’s Scandinavian recipes (2024)


What is Ottolenghi style? ›

From this, Ottolenghi has developed a style of food which is rooted in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean traditions, but which also draws in diverse influences and ingredients from around the world.

How to roast beetroot Ottolenghi? ›

Put the beetroot in a small, high-sided baking tray, pour in enough boiling water to come 1cm up the sides of the pan (150ml or so), cover tightly with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes, until the beetroot is soft. Remove from the oven and, once cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skins.

Who is Otto Lingo chef? ›

Yotam Assaf Ottolenghi (born 14 December 1968) is an Israeli-born British chef, restaurateur, and food writer.

Who is Yotam Ottolenghi's husband? ›

Does Ottolenghi have any Michelin stars? ›

So far, his books have sold 5 million copies, and Ottolenghi - although he has never even been awarded a Michelin star and without being considered a great chef - has successfully blended Israeli, Iranian, Turkish, French and, of course, Italian influences to create a genre that is (not overly) elegant, international, ...

Who is the famous bodybuilder chef? ›

Andre Rush is an American celebrity chef and military veteran. He worked in the White House as a Chef for four administrations. Rush, a retired Master Sergeant of the U.S. Army, gained attention for his large biceps and muscular physique.

Who is the Mexican chef from Master chef? ›

Aarón Sánchez (born February 12, 1976) is a Mexican-American celebrity chef, restaurateur, television personality, cookbook author and philanthropist. He is the executive chef and part-owner of the Mexican restaurant Johnny Sánchez in New Orleans.

What is the Ottolenghi effect? ›

His commitment to the championing of vegetables, as well as ingredients once seen as 'exotic', has led to what some call 'The Ottolenghi effect'. This is shorthand for the creation of a meal which is full of color, flavor, bounty, and surprise.

What is Ottolenghi known for? ›

Yotam Ottolenghi is the chef-patron of the Ottolenghi group. He is the author of nine best-selling cookery books which have garnered many awards, including the National Book Award for Ottolenghi SIMPLE, which was also selected as best book of the year by the New York Times.

What is an Ottolenghi salad? ›

Mixed Bean Salad

by Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi. from Jerusalem. Crisp and fragrant, this salad combines lemon, tarragon, capers, garlic, spring onions, coriander and cumin seeds to bring its base of of yellow beans, French beans, and red peppers to life.

Does Ottolenghi eat meat? ›

If anything, Mr. Ottolenghi — tall and dapper, with salt-and-pepper hair, half-rim glasses and a penchant for pink-striped button-downs and black sneakers — should be a vegetarian pinup. But here's the rub: he eats meat. Apparently this is enough to discredit him in the eyes of the most devout abstainers.

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