June potato salad


Nowadays I always go for a potato salad with a mayonnaise free dressing. My most recent favorite was roasted potato salad with salsa verde, but this version is all I can think right now. It’s the food want to eat in June. Maybe July also.

Somehow I haven’t used buttermilk in a potato salad before. The taste is so nordic; so familiar in a way that is really haunting.  This dressing tastes like my childhood in a best possible way. It is the combination of fresh summer onions, new potatoes, crunchy, watery radishes and that tangy, fresh tasting dressing with a mound of dill.

The dressing is actually a tampered version from this buttermilk one from Smitten kitchen, I just added dill and chopped eggs to make it a bit more for my taste. And as a note of caution, there is a lot of onions in this salad, so you might want to use onion only in the dressing, if you are not a hardcore onion lover like me.

I love to eat this on top of a slice of good rye bread and I recommend this combination for everyone. But you know, it would be good on it’s own, or with a gravad lax or fried fish – those traditional tastes of Finnish summer food.

There seem to be a lot of food in my blog right now called favorites. But they are – things that I choose to eat and love to eat. Seasonal favorites, family recipes or my own alterations.

June potato salad ( for 4-6 persons)

New potatoes – 500 gr
Radishes – a bunch
Spring onions – 2-3 sprigs
Salt and black pepper

Dill and egg buttermilk dressing

Good quality mayonnaise – 3 tbs
Buttermilk (not skimmed) – 1/2 cup
Spring onions – 2 sprigs, chopped
White wine vinegar – 1-2 tbs
Dill – 1/2 cup chopped
Hard boiled eggs – 2, chopped
Salt, a pinch of sugar

Flowering chives, for garnish

Wash and boil the potatoes in a salted water until just tender. Drain and let them cool. Wash and dry radishes and onions. Chop them up and add in a big bowl. Add the cooled potatoes: halved or quartered or whole depending on the size.

Mix the dressing ingredients in a bowl and taste and season to your liking. Pour the dressing on top of the potato salad and mix well. Season and add salt or more vinegar if needed.

Put the salad in the fridge for about an our so that the taste can develop a bit further and the potatoes to soak that dressing. Serve and garnish with chive flowers if you wish.

Rhubarb & almond caramel cake


There isn’t anything better than summer nights in Finland. Our garden is surrounded with lilacs (our own bushes and our neighbors also) and the scent really hits you when you step into the cool night air. Paired with the blackbird singing and the amazing light – it’s something that you have to wonder every single year. This season is gone so quickly that you try to grab every last lilac branch and rhubarb that you possibly can, which leads me to this recipe.

There is a traditional coffee pastry in Finland, called a tosca cake. Tosca means the caramel like topping which consists of melted butter, almond flakes and sugar. First you make the cake base, put it in the oven for a while and and melt your tosca topping ingredients in a pan, then spread the topping on top of your cake base and give it a final browning in the oven. The result is a gooey, caramel goodness with browned almonds and a sugary bliss. Basically a lot of goodness.

This is a seasonal version of that tosca cake and it is one of my favorite ways of using rhubarb. The tartness of the fruit cuts down the sugar filled topping and makes an irresistible thing to eat. The original version calls for vanilla sugar, but I have to have cardamom with rhubarb – simply won’t have it without.

Rhubarb cake & almond caramel (or tosca)

3 eggs
170 grams of sugar
100 grams melted butter
195 grams plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cardamom
3 cups rhubarb cut into pieces

Almond caramel

100 grams butter
65 grams sugar
2 tbs flour
1 tbs milk
100 grams almond flakes

In one bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and ground cardamom. Melt the butter and let it cool a bit. Turn the oven to 380F /200C. Butter and flour a cake tin (I prefer springform pan à 27 cm) or use a baking paper inside your pan to prevent sticking. Rinse and dry the rhubarb stalks, cut into tiny pieces.

Whip sugar and eggs in another bowl with an electric whisker until pale and fluffy. Add in butter whisking slowly. Then add in the flour mixture in batches and mix until even batter is formed. Batter will be runny, don’t worry about it.

Pour the batter into the cake tin and add your rhubarb pieces on top (you can push the pieces into the batter slightly). Push the tin into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes on a low rack. You might want to put a sheet under your springform pan, in case of batter leakage.

Add all the almond caramel ingredients into a tiny pan, put the heat on and let the butter melt, until there’s tiny bubbling happening and then take it off the heat. Mix if the caramel is trying to stick onto the pan, or add in more milk if necessary. Take the cake from the oven, spread the almond mixture on top and put the cake back into the oven for 10 minutes or until it has browned.

Let the cake cool and take it off the tin. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if you wish.