Three kind of bizarre but totally Swedish recipes

Put together the perfect Swedish dinner using these top-three regional delicacies from all corners of Sweden.

Three kind of bizarre but totally Swedish recipes
Great recipes for a Swedish dinner. Photo: Susanne Walström/

Article first published on Sweden's national day in 2016.

These recipes are shared with The Local courtesy of Taste of Sweden. Scroll down for a map of the best recipes each Swedish region has to offer. And click here for even more typically Swedish recipes.

1. Starter: Chili and Saffron Pancake

This is a twist on the island of Gotland's saffron pancake speciality. Modern and savoury, it makes for the perfect starter at your dinner party. Serve together with a tasty spring salad.

Serves: 4

A twist on this traditional Gotland saffron pancake. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Ingredients, pancake

250g rice pudding

zest from ½ lemon

0.25g saffron

1 egg

100ml whipping cream

½ tsp sambal oelek

½ tbsp flour

100g goat cheese


Ingredients, salad

250g asparagus

1kg shrimp (unpeeled)

10 ramson leaves

3 garlic cloves

½ chili (we recommend spanish peppers)

100ml mild olive oil

1 tbsp chopped thyme

zest from one lemon

salt and pepper

1 tbsp lemon juice


1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan.

2. In a bowl, mix together rice pudding, lemon zest, saffron, egg, whipping cream, sambal oelek and flour.

3. Pour the pancake mixture into a buttered tin and sprinkle the goat's cheese on top.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes and then leave to cool. For best result, leave overnight.

5. Cut the asparagus into 2-3cm pieces and cook in lightly salted water.

6. Peel the shrimps and put to the side. Cut the ramson into strips, and peel and slice the garlic and chili.

7. Fry the garlic and chili over high heat. Make sure the garlic does not burn. Leave to cool.

8. Add the shrimps, asparagus, ramson, thyme, zest and lemon juice. Mix together and add salt and pepper to taste.

9. Serve together with the saffron pancake.

2. Main course: Bacon filled potato balls

Its Swedish name, Pitepalt, is named after the city of Piteå in northern Sweden and is best described as a Swedish-style dumpling.

Serves: 4

Anyone in the mood for some palt? Photo: Jurek Holzer/SvD/SCANPIX


1kg potatoes

0.5kg boiled potatoes

300-500g flour


660g bacon


1. Peel and grate the potatoes and put in a strainer to remove any excess water. Grate the boiled potatoes and cut the bacon into cubes.

2. Combine potatoes, salt and gradually add flour so it creates a doughy texture. Do not add too much flour as you still want the mixture to be a bit wet.

3. Roll the mixture into balls, flatten with your hand, fill with bacon and roll into a ball. Make sure the bacon is completely covered by the potato dough.

4. Cook the potato balls in salted water for 45 minutes, or until they are floating on top of the pan.

5. Serve with lingonberry jam and melted butter.

3. Dessert: Spit cake from Skåne

A spit cake ('spettekaka' or 'spiddekaga' in a regional accent) is a southern Swedish speciality and is made by layering the batter on a rotating spit over an open fire or special oven. This recipe shows you how to make the cake using a regular oven. Good luck!

Serves: 20

Crown Princess Victoria and a spit cake from Skåne. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT


600g sugar

6 eggs

600g potato starch


1. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Fold in the potato starch and stir until you've got a smooth and creamy mixture. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and add to the mixture.

2. Put the mixture in a piping bag with a nozzle of 1cm. Pipe the mixture in a spider web pattern onto a burning boiler (25x35cm). Bake in the middle of the oven, 125C/105 fan, until hard, and then repeat until all mixture is gone. Every layer needs to be made smaller and smaller, so it resembles the structure of a tower.

3. Once the complete tower is baked, leave to cool until it's ready to serve.

For members


The three tasty treats that make spring in Sweden a forager’s dream

Although parts of Sweden are still under snow at this time of year, spring is in full swing here in Skåne in the south of Sweden. Here are The Local's top tips for what you can forage in the great outdoors this season.

The three tasty treats that make spring in Sweden a forager's dream

You might already have your go-to svampställe where you forage mushrooms in autumn, but mushrooms aren’t the only thing you can forage in Sweden. The season for fruits and berries hasn’t quite started yet, but there is a wide range of produce on offer if you know where to look.

Obviously, all of these plants grow in the wild, meaning it’s a good idea to wash them thoroughly before you use them. You should also be respectful of nature and of other would-be foragers when you’re out foraging, and make sure not to take more than your fair share to ensure there’s enough for everyone.

As with all foraged foods, only pick and eat what you know. The plants in this guide do not look similar to any poisonous plants, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry – or ask someone who knows for help.

Additionally, avoid foraging plants close to the roadside or in other areas which could be more polluted. If you haven’t tried any of these plants before, start in small doses to make sure you don’t react negatively to them.

Wild garlic plants in a park in Alnarpsparken, Skåne. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Wild garlic

These pungent green leaves are just starting to pop up in shady wooded areas, and may even hang around as late as June in some areas. Wild garlic or ramsons, known as ramslök in Swedish, smell strongly of garlic and have wide, flat, pointed leaves which grow low to the ground.

The whole plant is edible: leaves, flowers and the bulbs underground – although try not to harvest too many bulbs or the plants won’t grow back next year.

The leaves have a very strong garlic taste which gets weaker once cooked. Common recipes for wild garlic include pesto and herb butter or herbed oil, but it can generally be used instead of traditional garlic in most recipes. If you’re cooking wild garlic, add it to the dish at the last possible moment so it still retains some flavour.

You can also preserve the flower buds and seed capsules as wild garlic capers, known as ramslökskapris in Swedish, which will then keep for up to a year.

Stinging nettles. Wear gloves when harvesting these to protect yourself from their needles. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Stinging nettles

Brännässlor or stinging nettles need to be cooked before eating to remove their sting, although blanching them for a couple of seconds in boiling water should do the trick. For the same reason, make sure you wear good gardening gloves when you pick them so you don’t get stung.

Nettles often grow in the same conditions as wild garlic – shady woodlands, and are often regarded as weeds.

The younger leaves are best – they can get stringy and tough as they get older.

A very traditional use for brännässlor in Sweden is nässelsoppa, a bright green soup made from blanched nettles, often topped with a boiled or poached egg.

Some Swedes may also remember eating stuvade nässlor with salmon around Easter, where the nettles are cooked with cream, butter and milk. If you can’t get hold of nettles, they can be replaced with spinach for a similar result.

You can also dry nettles and use them to make tea, or use blanched nettles to make nettle pesto.

Kirskål or ground elder, another popular foraged green for this time of year.
Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Ground elder

Ground elder is known as kirskål in Swedish, and can be used much in the same way as spinach. It also grows in shady areas, and is an invasive species, meaning that you shouldn’t be too worried about foraging too much of it (you might even find some in your garden!).

It is quite common in parks and old gardens, but can also be found in wooded areas. The stems and older leaves can be bitter, so try to focus on foraging the tender, younger leaves.

Ground elder has been cultivated in Sweden since at least 500BC, and has been historically used as a medicinal herb and as a vegetable. This is one of the reasons it can be found in old gardens near Swedish castles or country homes, as it was grown for use in cooking.

Kirskål is available from March to September, although it is best eaten earlier in the season.

As mentioned, ground elder can replace spinach in many recipes – you could also use it for pesto, in a quiche or salad, or to make ground elder soup.