Last friday we went with our Swedish babysitter, Caroline, to the Midsummer Festival in Battery Park. It was originally a pagan festival which celebrated the summer solstice, but to a non Swede like me, it seemed like a great reason to eat delicious food and drink aquavit! The girls make wreathes of flowers which they place on their head, and the story goes that if they put the wreath under their pillow that night, they will dream of their future husband. Julia has a long way to go for that!
So we ate meatballs with boiled baby potatoes and cucumber dill salad (delicious), but my favourite thing was the gravlax (wish I could write it the way Caroline says it! I’ll keep practising)
I enlisted my other favourite Scandinavian, Paul, to help me make it!
One side of the best quality wild salmon, skin left on.
One large bunch dill, chopped finely
2 tablespoons Pink Peppercorns left whole
Rind of one lemon
1 cup white sugar
1 cup Maldon salt
3 tablespoons Cognac or Vodka
Mix dill, lemon rind, peppercorns, sugar and salt in a bowl.
Lay salmon out on a flat dish and press mixture onto the fish, patting it down firmly as you go.
Slowly pour the liquor over the fish, then cover with plastic wrap.
Place in the fridge for 48 hours, turning every 12 hours.
Slice thinly and serve with sweet mustard.
Scroll down for more pictures of the process.
(A big THANK YOU to Paul Lowe aka Sweet Paul for helping me with this!)