Swedish Recipes: How to make wild mushroom tart

There's no season like mushroom season, that's an old Swedish saying (okay, we just made it up). Food writer John Duxbury shares one of his favourite recipes.

Swedish Recipes: How to make wild mushroom tart
Wild mushroom tart. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Of course you know not to judge a book by its cover and that goes for food too. This may not be the prettiest of dishes, but it is so good inside you will want to make it again and again! The pastry cases are made with wholegrain spelt flour and chopped walnuts which give them a delightful texture which contrasts well with the filling.


Serves: 4

Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooking: 35 minutes

Total: 45 minutes + 30 minutes for the pastry to rest


– I think this tart is best made with wild mushrooms. I particularly like to use Swedish kantareller (golden chanterelle/girolle mushrooms).

– If you can't find any good quality wild mushrooms to pick or buy, exotic or cultivated mushrooms can be used as a substitute.

– I normally bake the tarts in four 12 cm (4 ½ in) diameter flat tins with loose bases, but you can use a 23 cm (9 in) flan dish instead if you prefer.



220 g (1 ¼ cups) wholegrain spelt flour

15 g (2 tbsp) chopped walnuts

¼ tsp salt

75 g (1/3 cup) butter, cubed

1 egg yolk

2 tbsp water


4 shallots, finely chopped

350 g (12 oz) mushrooms, brushed clean

25 g (1 ½ tbsp) butter

2 tsp chopped thyme

1 unwaxed lemon, grated zest only

2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

1 egg yolk

120 ml (½ cup) double (heavy) cream

120 ml (½ cup) whole milk

50 g (2 oz) Västerbottensost, grated (use parmesan if you can't get this)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 walnut halves


1. Briefly blitz the flour, chopped walnuts and salt in a food processor.

2. Add the butter and continue to blitz until it forms fine breadcrumbs.

3. Add the egg yolk and water and blend until it forms a dough. Add more water if it is too dry. Cover with clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.

4. Heat the oven to 200C (400F, Gas 6, Fan 170C).

5. Roll out the pastry and line four lightly-greased loose-bottomed tart tins.

6. Bake blind for ten minutes and then non-blind for a further five minutes.

7. While the pastry cases are baking, gently fry the shallots in the butter until softened but not brown.

8. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are beginning to soften.

9. Stir in the thyme, lemon zest and parsley, then season.

10. Whisk the egg yolk, cream, milk and cheese together, then stir into the pan.

11. Divide the mixture between the pastry cases and top each with a walnut half.

12. Bake for 20 minutes or until set.

13. The arts are superb served lukewarm for lunch or cold for a picnic.

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of Swedish Food.

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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.