Excerpt from Cook Yourself Happy: The Danish Way
Cooking Is My Greatest Pleasure
The kitchen has always been where my family congregates. In times of happiness or sadness, cooking is our greatest indulgence and passion. There is a great democracy in the kitchen – you work as a team for a common goal – you can have difficult conversations, you can laugh, you can argue, all over a hot stove or a chopping board. Some of my most important conversations have taken place in the heart of my home. And if I’m ever unsure about a recipe or life, I just phone home to my 92-year-old grandmother.
The magic surrounding family recipes passed down through the generations is next to none – find them, make them and treasure them always. Quite simply, cooking is my favourite pastime, my greatest passion, and I hope to inspire you to love cooking too. To cook for my family and to cook for my friends is as gratifying to me as embracing my loved ones. To cook with them is magic. The times I spend in my kitchen with my children are my greatest pleasures – the food preparation, baking and eating together is such a ‘glue’ in our lives, it’s the happiest times spent together, being cosy and hygge.
WILD MUSHROOM SALAD
Mushrooms remind me so much of my childhood. My mother was an amazing expert at recognizing all the different varieties, edible or not, when we spent many an hour out in the woods picking them. It was always the most cosy time spent as a family, and very Scandinavian – being outdoors as a family, collecting and then preparing feasts to enjoy. Mushrooms and blueberries are, for me, symbols of complete and utter joy, uniting us humans with mother nature.
- 700g (1lb 9oz) of 3 different kinds of mushroom: safely foraged wild mushrooms or I used 300g (10½ozchestnut, 300g (10½oz) button and 100g (3½oz) chanterelle mushrooms
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds, white or mixed
- 4–6 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp pink Himalayan salt or sea salt
- 4 tbsp finely chopped parsley, plus extra to garnish
- 1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 6 small vine tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 small avocado, cut into cubes
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- ⅔ heart of palm, finely chopped(optional)
- 2 grilled (broiled) artichokes, finely chopped (optional)
Prepare the mushrooms – clean, then cut any large mushrooms into quarters, leaving the smaller chanterelles whole.
Heat a frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat and add the sesame seeds. Lightly toast them in the pan – use a lid as they do pop and jump around – then set aside.
Mix the mushrooms with the olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and salt. Leave to marinate for 5 minutes.
Add the parsley and garlic to the mushrooms and mix well.
Add the remaining ingredients and lastly the toasted sesame seeds.
Mix a final time, garnish with a little extra parsley and serve straight away.
This salad is also delicious with a slice of nut bread toasted in a little olive oil.