A Salad From The Finnish Mid-West

This one is a great and simple salad. It possibly originates from the area of Häme in Finland, from where it spread to other parts of country. It is made from simple ingredients, and nowadays mostly eaten at Yule time, but in the centuries past, it was likely a much more common salad, as in some parts of Finland it was called sallatti (literally “salad” in english) instead of rosolli. The original recipe called for herring and whatever, but we naturally skipped them entirely, as it represents just one of the million variations of this salad.


3dl cubed beets
2dl cubed carrots
2dl cubed potatoes
1 small onion
1 cubed pickle
1 big sour apple
grinded white pepper

Boil beets, carrots and potatoes, peel them and cube them. All ingredients are mixed together in a bowl and seasoned with white pepper. Serve with vinegar and/or oat cream or soy youghurt.


Winter Salad

Cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce etc. aren’t at they’re best in the winter, so prefer cabbage, root vegetables or preserved vegetables as salad ingredients. This is an easy beet salad, but boiling and cooling the beets takes some time. Quicker version: use pickled beets, but omit the vinegar.

Beet Salad

500 g beets
water for boiling

1 big apple
2 small pickles
4 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Boil the beets and allow to cool. Peel and coarsely grate beets and apple. Chop the pickles. Mix everything together and preferably allow to sit in the fridge before serving.

You can also add (red) onion or parsley to the salad.

Vegan Burgers

Last week we made some veggie burgers. We filled whole wheat buns with bean patties, fresh vegetables and mayonnaise based sauce. The weather was very nice and we ate our burgers on the balcony. Is there a better way to spend summer day than eating outdoors?

I didn’t write down the recipe for patties, but they were made of 4 dl kidney beans, 2 chopped celery stalks, 0,5 dl dry bread crumbs, 0,5 dl wheat flour, ketchup and seasoned with salt, pepper, some herbs etc and fried in oil.

Sauce for Burgers

6 tbsp vegan mayo (or 3 tbsp vegan mayo + 3 tbsp plain soy yogurt)
2 tbsp chopped pickle
1 tsp mustard
pinch of black pepper

Mix everything together.

Cabbage Quiche

Recently I found out that what I’ve been calling a pie is actually a quiche. In Finnish we have only one word that means both of them and pie was the only English word I knew. If I’d had to define “pie” I would have said it has crust on the bottom and filling on top and occasionally it has crust on top too. But I also found out is that pies don’t necessarily even have crust in the bottom! I’m not sure if I have understood all the names that you English speaking people have for pies and things like that. Like can quiche be sweet? And what’s the difference between flan and quiche?

Then about today’s recipe. It’s been published in this Finnish blog that I’ve been reading for a while. She makes beautiful cakes and other baked goods. Most of the recipes are useless, since she nearly always uses gelatin or meat, but this cabbage quiche recipe was easy to veganize. It was delicious too, I strongly recommend trying it.

Georgian Cabbage Quiche

100g margarine + little more for greasing the dish
1 dl whole wheat or rye flour
2 dl wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp water

500g cabbage
1,5 dl water
1 big onion
1 pickled cucumber
2 garlic cloves
0,75 dl tomato purée
2 dl oat cream
2 tbsp apple vinegar
2 tsp marjoram
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder (ours was extra hot and I used less than half tsp)
1 tsp paprika
pinch of black pepper

Start with the filling. Cut the cabbage into strips and put them into a pot with water. Bring to boil and simmer 15 minutes, stir occasionally. Make the crust while your cabbage is simmering. Crumble margarine, both flours and baking powder with your hand in a bowl. Add the water and mix together. Grease a dish and spread the dough in it. Bake 10 minutes in 200 Celsius degrees.

Chop the onion and add it to the pot when cabbage has been simmering 15 minutes. Simmer 5 more minutes. Dice the pickle and mince the garlic cloves. Mix all the filling ingredients in the pot and spread on the prebaked crust. Bake 30-40 minutes more or until it looks like ready to eat.

Gluten free option: Use gluten free flour or this crust recipe. Use soy cream in the filling if your oat cream is not gluten free.

Harvesting And Pickling

Yesterday I posted some photos from our garden. Here’s something that has grown there: a big zucchini, a small yellow summer squash, kohlrabi and snow peas. Kohlrabis are still a bit small, but we took them to make more room for others to grow. Some zucchini, kohlrabis and handful of snow peas were stir fried with some cauliflower, carrots, onions and beans.

We also found a lot of cucumbers. Since we were away for a week, some of them had grown too big.  Here they are on our kitchen table, sorted by variety and size. I don’t know English names for the cucumbers, but in front is Favör II WW, left pile is the good cucumbers and right taste-before-using. Behind them is Reinin Rypäle, sorted by size the same way. In the back are the oversized ones that can’t be eaten.

I used one inedible cucumber to make serving bowl for cucumber relish. Some of the good cucumbers were eaten fresh in salads, but most of them were pickled.

The recipe makes one 5l bucket of sliced pickles. I often slice my cucumbers before pickling, because then you can fit more of them in one jar. If you prefer pickling whole cucumbers, poke some holes on them first to make sure the liquid goes inside the cucumbers too and they won’t become soft and icky. You may also need to make more liquid, because there will be more empty space in your jar.

Pickled Cucumbers

cucumbers (4,5l when sliced)
10 thin horseradish slices
big bunch of dill (few long stalks with the flowers)
6 garlic cloves or some chili slices (optional)
black currant or oak leaves, if available

2 l water
4 dl sugar
6 dl distilled vinegar
2 tblsp salt
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp black pepper corns

Before slicing the cucumbers, soak them in cold water at least half an hour, few hours is good. Brush them to remove the little spikes. Slice.

Use a plastic bucket with a lid or few big glass jars. Put a thick layer of cucumbers into a bucket/jar and put a layer of leaves (if you have), some horseradish, dill and garlic/chili (if using). Continue making layers until all the cucumbers are used. Put currant leaves and dill on top.

Mix water, sugar, salt, mustard seeds and peppercorns in a pot and boil 5-10 minutes. Add vinegar, bring to boil again and pour on the cucumbers. The liquid should cover all the cucumbers, but if it doesn’t you have to make a little more. Close the lids, let cool and keep in cold place at least three weeks before serving.

It Must Be Italian Because Of Macaroni

In Finland we have this Russian style salad that is called Italian salad. It’s like Salade Olivier but with macaroni. I imagine that someone had eaten it in Russia and thought that delicious salad should be introduced to Finns too. But because Finns thought that Russia=bad, (s)he disguised it by adding macaroni and called it Italian. So everybody happily ate the salad and had no idea that it was actually a Russian dish.

Italian salad and Salade Olivier often contain meat, but my mother has always made ovo-vegetarian version with home made mayo. It turns vegan by using egg free mayo (home made or store bought).

Italian Salad

1 can of canned peas
4 boiled carrots
2 dl boiled potato cubes
2 pickles
2 apples
2 dl macaroni or other small pasta

2-3 dl mayo
0,5 tsp mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
white pepper

Cook the macaroni according to instructions on the package. Drain the peas and cube everything else. Mix the salad ingredients in a bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients together in another bowl and toss with the salad.