What comes to your mind when you think of a healthy pantry? Nuts, legumes, fermented or canned vegetables, self-made marmalades, chutneys, broths, pastes, and all kinds of this stuff, filled in glasses, stocked for use? At least, this is what our pantry looks like. Yet, a much bigger, multyfaceted, surprising and incredibly healthy pantry opens before our eyes: nature! Visit Sweden* wants to call attention to this natural pantry with a special initiative.

 

The Edible Country

 

With ingredients picked straight from nature, the four top chefs Titti Qvarnström, Niklas Ekstedt, Jacob Holmström und Anton Bjuhr created a menu together. The recipes and a detailed manual how to prepare them make it possible for anyone to cook them in nature itself. The initiative is an open invitation to dive into Sweden’s landscape and to enjoy its variety.

It shall bring us closer to what was natural once: the knowledge about wild growing, edible plants. The project wants to show, how easy and accessible healthy food can be. Berries, mushrooms, herbs and much more grows in Sweden’s fabulous and diverse environment. You just have to grab it.

For us, the idea behind The Edible Country could be a base to place confidence again into the grapes of nature. Do you, too, hear your parents warn you “Don’t eat wild berries! The fox tapeworm is life-threatening!” This way, you suck in a fear of nature starting in your childhood. Sure, you should know what you do, and not start collecting without background knowledge, but is this not the key? Imparting knowledge instead of warnings and restraints? Isn’t it absurd that we rely more on what the industry serves us in the supermarkets instead of on the origin of our food, and on the most natural way to collect and process them ourselves? Just this process is balm for the soul.

As part of an international group we were the first to experience The Edible Country right away. With the instruction of our experienced guide Pontus we roamed the woods of Småland to collect mushrooms for the menu. This alone was a highlight and worth the travel. With our full baskets we went deeper into the woods to cook a menu with two of the top chefs. We were especially looking forward to cooking on open fire in the woods. You know how much we love preparing our food like this. How wonderful the experience would be, we only got to know when we saw the little valley from the top of the hill. Amidst the moss-grown stones a beautifully set table was waiting for us. Next to it, flames were already licking in the fire bowls, and all the collected ingredients, berries, herbs and mushrooms were ready to cook. We did not believe our eyes!

It was a bit mean, actually. On the one hand, we could not let go of our cameras. On the other hand, we wanted to be in the middle of it all, to experience the preparation and cooking, chopping ourselves and ask thousands of questions. Thankfully, we are two and could split and rotate.

Still, we could have extended this experience for a few hours or even days. When do you have the chance to cook together with top chefs?

The three dishes we prepared together were surprising and extraordinary, despite or maybe because of the few ingredients and the simple preparation over the open fire. For us vegetarians there was broth from the woods with spring water, various mushrooms and herbs with browned butter as appetizer.
Chanterelles, juniper berries and common sorrel were the main course. Acorns and hazel nut crumble with wild fruits and stewed berries were the sweet finish. Apart from aromas from the woods, we only seasoned with butter, salt, and honey. You don’t need more to be completely soulful afterwards.

It is incredible how much inspiration we gathered within a few hours. Be it the insight that field penny-cress, which grows in front of our door, is pretty tasty, or that you can serve wild herbs like yarrow as dessert. That for a strong broth you don’t need more than a few mushrooms and herbs, or that acorns, after cooking them a few times, are actually edible and taste fantastically…

 

It was an unforgettable experience for us. We are incredible thankful that we were part of this project and were able to see Sweden’s uniqueness. Even if the top chefs came together for this event and usually cook in their own restaurants instead of in the woods, it is possible for everyone to experience such a dinner in this special environment. In Sweden, everyman’s right is a basic rule. A respectful contact with nature granted, everyone is allowed to roam the countryside. This way, and following the recipes and instructions of the chefs, you can collect the ingredients yourself and cook the dish wherever you like.

Alternatively, you can book seven handmade wooden tables with ready cooking gear from May to September. These tables are spread at special spots all over Sweden: Skåne, Western Sweden, Lapland, Jämtland, Småland, Stockholm Archipelago, and Värmland.

Who think he or she is not capable of collecting the ingredients on their own can book an experienced guide who will show you the collection sites and answers all questions about nature. 

More information about this wonderful project you find on the website of Visit Sweden.

When special people come to visit there has to be special food, too. For us, a certain cake is extraordinary: the Naked Cake. Usually, we keep it pretty basic with „Granny’s Cakes“ like crumble cake of all sorts, sheet cakes, etc. Thus, we relied on one of our classics for this recipe. A moist carrot cake with lots of nuts, dried apricots and other delicious details. We love how variable it is. Be it in a spring form or a whole tray for larger groups, or as cupcakes, be it vegan with aquafaba and cashew creme, or not vegan with a cream cheese topping, as in this case. The cake is just too delicious to not experiment with it. The basic recipe you find in our cookbook.

Beside the cake we wanted to create an unique setting for our kaffeeklatsch with our friends Jules, Maria and Justus from Herz & Blut.

After the last plants left the greenhouse a few weeks ago it was time to use it as living space once again. Sure, in winter with outside temperatures around freezing point, the temperatures inside the greenhouse never rise above 10-15°C. The days are just too short. At least, the cold wind and the moisture stay outside. Wrapped in woolen pullovers and scarfs, and with a lot of candles the atmosphere still gets really cosy. Especially, when the sun sets spectacularly just as it did this particular evening.

Even if we could plant salads during winter, or sow the green manure, we just love to use the greenhouse for ourselves outside the gardening season. Until it is time to sow the young plants and it is warm enough to bring them into the greenhouse in early spring, we will take this opportunity.

For 4 servings

    We love serving little dishes during the holidays, which you can assemble as the whim takes you. This way, everyone finds something delicious, and the dinner gets a sociable touch. Just like last Christmas, we decided to make a special centerpiece for the festive table. It’s a dish which can be cut and shared in front of the curious guests. The outcome is a wonderful holiday pie, filled with colourful vegetables. The cooking needs some preparation time, since every stuffing has to be prepared separately. Of course, you can vary the stuffing - there are no boundaries to your creativity. You can also cook the pie after the holidays to put all the leftovers to good use, for example.

    Dice the butter. Mix the flour with the salt, and crumble with the butter. Add water and knead it to a dough fast. Put the dough into the fridge until the rest of the ingredients are ready.
     
    Finely chop the porcini. Cook the lentils with the double amount of water, add the porcini and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes (check the instructions on the package). Salt only at the end of the cooking time. Add the oil to the cooked lentils and mash them a little. If the mash is a bit too solid, add some water.
     
    For the chutney, peel the apples, core and dice them. Finely chop the onions. Heat some rapeseed oil in a pot and sauté the onions. Add the apples and deglaze with cider vinegar. Let the chutney simmer for about 10 minutes until the apples are soft but not yet fallen apart. Mix the pectin with the sugar, and add it to the chutney at the end of the cooking time. Season with salt and let the chutney cool down.
     
    Preheat the oven to 200°C (upper/lower heat). Slice the pumpkin into roughly 5cm thick pieces, spread them on a baking rack, generously season with salt and drizzle some rapeseed oil over them. Bake the pumpkin for about 25 minutes until it is soft (test with a stick), and either dice the pumpkin or mash it.
     
    Thinly slice the beetroot, and let it simmer in the elderberry juice for about 35 minutes until it is soft. Every now and then, stir the beet root and add more juice if needed. The fluid should be evaporated by the end of cooking time.
     
    Roast the sunflower seeds in a pan without oil and grind them afterwards. Finely chop the garlic. Pluck the kale from the stem and chaff it. Mix the ground seeds, garlic, kale, mustard, and walnut oil, and season with salt.
     
    Preheat the oven to 180°C (upper/lower heat). Grease a springform (18 cm diameter).
    Take about two thirds of the dough and roll it out on a floured worktop. Put it into the springform and firmly press it so you get a 6 cm high border. Roll out the last third. Fill the pie in layers with the lentils, beetroot, pumpkin, chutney and kale. Brush the border of the rest of the dough with water and use it as a top for the pie. Firmly press the borders. With a sharp knife, cut the pie four times around the center so the heat can escape while baking and the pie does not burst open. Bake the pie on the middle rack for about 50 minutes until it is golden yellow.

    Newsletter

    Don't miss any new recipes, culinary stories or events! Sign up for our newsletter and get an email for all Krautkopf news and new posts.

    Thanks for registering.

     

    In order to prevent abusive use by third parties, we have sent you a confirmation link to your e-mail address. Please click it to confirm your subscription.

     

    Scroll to top