Scandinavian Smorgasbord

Smorgasboard (3)

Travis final recipe from his Swedish themed Raddish Kids was a full smorgasbord of recipes… literally! This loaner word to English (which we translate as “buffet”) actually translates to “sandwich table” in Swedish. Travis learned that in Sweden, you take five trips to the buffet table for a different course each time, including some we wanted to try and some that were decidedly not vegan (pickled herring, gravlax). We loved this recipe trio of side dishes to go with the meal, and served it with rye bread and our leftover meatballs.

Smorgasboard (2)


For the Swedish preserves:

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cups frozen cranberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 water

For the pickled cucumbers:

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For the dill potatoes:

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds baby gold potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy sour cream
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. To prepare the preserves, zest the lemon with a grater. Reserve the lemon for another use. Add the zest to a pot, along with the cranberries, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the cranberries pop. Let cool at least 10 minutes and your preserves will thicken. These can be made in advance, too!Smorgasboard (5)
  2. To prepare the cucumbers, cut the cucumber in half and grate into thin slices with the long slit of a grater. Combine the cucumbers in a bowl with the cider vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 tbsp sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes.Smorgasboard (4)
  3. To prepare the potatoes, combine them in a pot with 1 tablespoon salt. Cover with water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, until very tender. Drain.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with the sour cream, dill, and black pepper in a small bowl. Serve the dip with the potatoes.Smorgasboard (6)

What a different meal this was! Definitely a great way to introduce your kids to new flavors, smells, combinations, and food customs.

As a little exercise, I then challenged Travis to imagine his own dream smorgasbord. I read a little more about the history of the term for him and we watched a quick clip of proper smorgasbord set-up.

I had Travis check out Sweden’s location on a map, which helped him understand why the Swedish diet was so heavy on fish.

Dream Smorgasbord (1)

Travis went through a few food magazines and cookbooks to find inspiration for his version.

Dream Smorgasbord (3)

As luck would have it, I had most of these items on hand, which meant he could have a smorgasbord lunch of: French fries, vegan fish (so appropriate!), tofu salad, and brownie cookies.

Dream Smorgasbord (5)

For some final learning with the meal, we read about Swedish Handicrafts like wooden Dala horses, traditionally carved in front of a fireplace in the dark days of winter.

Dala Horse (1)

Rather than wood, Raddish provided a cardboard cutout of a horse to color in. Travis thought gluing on the head was fun!

Dala Horse (4)

We capped it all off with a Swedish food wood search.

Dala Horse (2)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s