“Cultured butter shaped into roses sitting next to breads that smell of rye, fennel, and caraway seeds. Different kinds of herring lined up in separate ceramic jars next to a glorious Cheddar wrapped in cotton. A platter of salmon, mildly sweet with a smooth texture that melts in your mouth. Generous mounds of pink shrimp, piled up in a crystal bowl, just waiting to be dipped into a creamy sauce or eaten just as they are, salty and fresh. Strong flavors like mustard and horseradish— faithful companions to the spread of charcuteries like pâté, smoked goose breast, and wrinkled juniper- smoked sausages. This table, with its light and well- balanced flavors of sweet, sour, and salty, is the ultimate display of Nordic cuisine. In Sweden, we call it a smörgåsbord.” – Page 1 of Smörgåsbord: The Art of Swedish Breads and Savory Treats, Ten Speed Press, September 26, 2017
This is the first paragraph of Smörgåsbord, my second cookbook that goes on sale today (September 26, 2017). I’m super thrilled and celebrating with champagne and by baking bread from the book. I hope this book will inspire you to cook and enjoy the Nordic flavors as much as I do. And that by cooking from it you will find your own favorite combinations that you share with your friends and family for weekday treats as well as when celebrating something special. I also hope to hang out with you at any of my planned book events (listed below). Please also check my event page for updates.The book is a celebration of the Swedish tradition smörgåsbord which is a festive buffet with dishes like cured herring, gravlax, cold cuts, pickles, salads, and meatballs. While a full represented smörgåsbord in all its glory can have up to over 100 dishes, this book wants to inspire you to create and share it in smaller portions, as entertaining hors d’oeuvres or everyday smörgås bites.
Mustard Herring with egg, cheese and Danish Rye Bread.
And a shot of Aquavit.
Except for a few sides, most dishes are things you can put on a piece of bread to create a smörgås (Swedish open-sandwich). All through the book, I suggest different combinations so the reader and cook can easily combine the spreads into a mini version of the real thing. To get some Nordic flavor for your next cocktail party, this can be as simple as whipping together some Smoked Fish Salad spiced with horseradish and serving it with some fresh pickled vegetables and homemade bread. But if you wish, you can always go ahead and prepare the whole feast too.
Quick Pickled Vegetables, Dill Pickled Cucumbers,
and Pickled Beets
The recipes in the book are my selected favorites on a traditional smörgåsbord. Dishes I grew up with and things I cook regularly at home. Many of them are iconic dishes in Nordic cuisine. In the kitchen I like to cook with easy and simple tools, therefore most of the recipes in the book are simple enough to do without a heavily equipped kitchen. The book also share step-by-step bread baking methods (especially sourdough), sausage making, and tips for simple pickles.
Elderflower-Cured Rainbow Trout which is amazing
on Knäckebröd (Swedish Crispbread) and Fresh Pickled Cucumber
I spend most of last year researching the history of smörgåsbord, collecting anecdotes and munching treats while recipe testing. When my kitchen couldn’t fit another piece of bread or dish, I invited my friends over to feast around my table. Parallel to the cooking and writing I worked on the illustrations to accompany the story as well as the recipes in the book.
one of the most satisfying Autumn treat is
Butter-Fried Chantarelles with Walnuts
I have along the way many to thank in the making of this book. First of all I want to thank my husband Marek, who is always there supporting me and finding words when I’m blocked. He also forces me to take breaks when I haven’t moved from my desk in several hours by making coffee or pouring me a glass of wine. Second, I want to thank my friend Tenaya Darlington, who did the first edits of the manuscript. Your comments were inspiring and encouraging. You really pushed me forward. And most of all I want to thank my editor Kaitlin Ketchum at Ten Speed Press for being such a wonderful person and editor. Thanks for believing in me and this project! And a big thanks to Lizzy Allen and the rest of the team at Ten Speed Press who did a splendid job in the making of this book. I think it looks smashing!
To celebrate the release, I’m having a giveaway of the book. Share your favorite spreads for bread on Instagram. Doesn’t have to be typical Scandinavian, it can be almost anything as long it’s something you would have with a piece of bread. To participate: tag me @johannakindvall as well as the hashtag #ArtofSmorgasbord in the post. Entries needs to be posted by Thursday October 5. If you don’t have Instagram, no worries, post a comment here and tell me your favorite.
homemade Cultured Butter and Danish Rye Bread
If you can’t find the book in your local bookstore you can order it online all over the world. Here are a few examples: Random House, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, Amazon (US), and Amazon (UK). The book is also listed at the Swedish bookstores Bokus and Adlibris.
also check my event page for updates
Wednesday, November 8
Autumn Smörgås Table with chef Renee Baumann
at 61 Local, Brooklyn
If you are interested, send me a message
and I will gladly send you an invite.
Monday, November 13
bread baking workshop + dinner
in support of GrowNYC‘s Grain Program
with Feast & Fight, Juanli Carrion, Stefani Bardin
at Lighthouse, Brooklyn
more details & tickets –> here
Saturday, December 9, @ 7pm
Cocktails+Smörgåsbord with The Darlingtons at COOK, Philadelphia
more details soon
said about the book:
“Her first solo book is “beyond beautiful. She’s a wonderful artist and illustrator. It’s got all the elements of hygge in it, and it offers a new way of thinking about small plates.” – Judith Rosen, Publishers Weekly
my first cookbook: Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break
more about the Smörgåsbord book here and here
How Moving to New York Changed my Approach to Cooking
by Johanna Kindvall, Signature Reads
The retro classic The Parisian – the open-faced hamburger
with a beef & pickle beet patty and a sunny side egg
13 thoughts on “Smörgåsbord: The Art of Swedish Breads and Savory Treats (Book Release)”
I don’t have Instagram so I will leave my comment here: I have two favorites – a Moroccan carrot spread/dip (cooked carrots, red wine vinegar, cumin) and mango chutney and chicken spread (chicken, mango chutney, mayonnaise). Thanks for the chance to win! I look forward to your new book. I love Fika!
Leah, your combination of things sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for this wonderful new book of yours! Looking foward to trying out the recipes. My favourite spread is an middle eastern cream cheese (mixed with black caraway seeds, chopped dates, cumin, chili curcuma).
Sophia, I’m happy to hear you like the book! This spread sounds wonderful!
This book sounds wonderful and I would like to enter the drawing to win a copy. My current favorite open faced sandwich is garlic rubbed grilled sourdough with a generous smear of hummus, topped with salty salami, wedges of sweet peach and finished with thinly shaved pungent red onion. It’s so many flavors blend nicely for a delicious lunch.
Thanks Kelli, I love hummus on toasted sourdough so your open sandwich sounds amazing.
SMÖRGÅSBORD A word I learned on a trip to Sweden but until today didn’t know how to smell. I was only 5 or 6 at the time but it must have been good because I remember it well over 30 years on!
Hi Boha, love that you remembered smörgåsbord! Amazing 🙂
I requested your book for purchase through my local library and I can’t wait!
My favorite open-faced sandwich is a goat-cream cheese spread (spiked with a hint of lemon) topped with smoked salmon.
(Shh…Sometimes I also do the basic thing and eat avocado toast with red chili flakes and sea salt)
How wonderful Krystal!And your open-faced sandwiches sounds very delicious! Thanks for sharing.
I love Scandinavian cuisine. Open-faced sandwiches are so much more interesting than normal ones!
I agree with you Matt ?