All posts by Mervin

Italian Cheesecake Jars

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I asked Luise if this was too simple? It’s almost not a recipe, just a quick thing we have been making when we crave dessert but don’t feel like busting out any mixers or even turning on the oven. “What, too simple? That’s my favorite kind of recipe. Nothing can ever be too simple!” she told me. So here it is. A simple Italian twist on cheesecake, served in small jars or glasses. It features two of our favourite summer fruits on a bed of creamy lemon & vanilla mascarpone and the simplest raw crumble you’ll ever make.

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Even though we sometimes make it on regular weeknights, this is the most perfect thing to serve on a summer buffet table. It’s quick and effortless and looks really pretty in small jars or shot glasses. It’s easy to quadruple the recipe too, so you could make 30 jars in no-time.

The crumble is simply made from mashed dates, roughly chopped almonds and a pinch of salt. Simple and crunchy. It also keeps well without going soggy. The mascarpone filling is deliciously decadent. It can be replaced with thick Greek yogurt for a lighter twist. It can also be made vegan by replacing the mascarpone with coconut yogurt or by making the cashew filling from our flower power cake.

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We let the fruit macerate in a squeeze of lemon and honey. It makes it even more flavourful and it also helps the fruit release liquid that will sip down the sides of the jar like a natural fruit syrup. This simple fruit salad is also really good on its own or on top of any breakfast bowl.

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Italian Cheesecake Jars
Makes 8 small jars or 4 larger ones

If making this ahead, we’d recommend only filling the jars with crumble and mascarpone, and keeping the fruit salad in a separate jar until right before serving. Strawberries and peaches are often heavily sprayed so choose organic if possible.

15 strawberries, rinsed and hulled
3 peaches, rinsed
1 lemon, washed
2 tbsp (unheated) runny honey or maple syrup
80 g / ½ cup raw almonds
8 soft dates, stones removed
1 pinch sea salt
250 g mascarpone
½ tsp ground vanilla or pure vanilla extract 
a small handful lemon balm or mint leaves

Cut the fruit in smaller pieces and place in a bowl. Squeeze over 1/2 lemon and 1 tbsp honey, toss and let sit for 15 minutes.

Roughly chop the almonds and mash the dates with a fork. Stir together and divide on the bottom of 8 small glasses or jars. Stir together mascarpone and vanilla, add zest and juice from the rest of the lemon together with 1 tbsp honey, stir until combined and then dollop it into the glasses on top of the date crumble. Add the marinated fruit right before serving them on the buffet table, top with lemon balm and decorate with flower petals, lavender or elderflowers.

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We have developed this recipe for Åhléns campaign Alla Länders Land which focuses on welcoming more food cultures to the Swedish summer table. 

Savoury Buckwheat Granola

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Say hello to your salad’s new best friend. This jar of mustardy granola has become a total game-changer in our kitchen. And if you are like us and often mix leftovers into quick salad bowls, you are soon going to realize its potential. The granola has the most delicious flavour and adds a superb crunch to all types of salads. We don’t see this as a salad topping but instead a filler that you can use instead of cooking a batch of rice, quinoa or millet or whatever you normally use to make something simple and green into a more substantial meal. The granola is also great with soups (perfect for gazpacho!) and on top of grilled feta cheese or on a savory yogurt bowl. There are doubtless lots of other uses that we haven’t tried yet, but we surely will during the summer.

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Savory granola might not be an entirely new concept, but it is a great one. And this recipe is a real winner with tones of mustard, orange zest, thyme and rosemary. It also has an incredible crunch from buckwheat groats, nuts, seeds, rolled rye and oats. So give yourself 10 minutes to mix the ingredients together, shove it in the oven and then use it on almost anything. You can thank us later

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To help you get started, we are also sharing a quick little baked feta cheese recipe and a crunchy green salad which both are optimal paired with the granola. The feta cheese is almost too simple. Bake a block of feta cheese for 10 minutes on 200°C / 400°F, then switch up the temperature to max and turn on the broiler for just a few minutes. Drizzle with olive oil, fresh herbs and a generous sprinkle of savoury granola. We usually serve the cheese as a side dish to share on the table. An extra drizzle of honey will make it even more special.

The salad is a bit of a mash-up between a salad and a slaw. Thinly sliced vegetables and pears are mixed with lettuce, drizzled with a yogurt dressing and then covered in granola. Win!

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Savoury Granola – Salad’s Best Friend
Makes 4 cups / 1 litre
You can of course add or replace any of the seeds, nuts or flakes with what you have in your pantry. If you are looking for a slightly lighter granola you can replace some of the oil with water. Dry spices could also be added instead of the fresh herbs.
Dressing: 
1/2 cup / 125 ml olive oil
2 tbsp grainy mustard
1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
zest from 1 orange 
1-2 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme (leaves only)
1-2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (leaves only) 
salt and pepper 
Dry ingredients: 
1 cup / 100 g rolled rye flakes (or just oats, if you are sensitive to gluten)
1 cup / 100 g rolled oats
1/2 cup buckwheat groats 
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds 
1/2 cup sunflower seeds 
1/2 cup hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 360°F. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add all of the dry ingredients to the bowl. Use you hands or a spatula to toss the dry ingredients in the dressing until all is coated. Bake for about 20 minutes or until crunchy and golden, stirring the granola halfway through to prevent it from burning. We usually add some extra herbs after it is baked but this is of course optional. Store in an air-tight jar in room temperature for up to 4 weeks.
Fennel and Pear Salad with yogurt dressing
Serves 4
1 butter lettuce, leaves gently torn
1 cucumber, sliced into rounds
1 fennel bulb, halved and thinly sliced 
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 romanesco or 
broccoli, thinly sliced
2 pears, thinly sliced 
2 tbsp olive oil 
Yogurt dressing
3/4 cup / 20o ml yogurt
10 basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juice
a pinch of salt and a generous grind of black pepper
Prepare all the salad ingredients and place them in a large salad bowl. It’s easiest to use a mandolin to get thin slices. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Stir together the yogurt dressing in a small bowl. Serve the salad on 4 plates, drizzle with yogurt and top with a generous scoop of granola.

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PS. In case anyone is wondering, the salad plate was a real bargain from a local ceramicist. Apparently it’s a bit uneven so we almost got it for free. A tip is to always ask for their “damaged goods” if you want unique pieces and are on a budget. The apron is from Stone Cold Fox.