Mid-August Crayfish Party

This past weekend I went out to my friends summer cottage, where they held a traditional Swedish Crayfish Party. Don’t misunderstand me now. This is still a vegetarian blog, I won’t share any secret recipes on how to cook crayfish. I will however share a recipe for a really tasty and quick green bean salad, but first I want to show and tell you about our crayfish party.

In mid-august almost everybody in Sweden attend or arrange crayfish parties. We decorate with silly lamps. We play outdoor games (ever heard of Kubb?). We eat lots of crayfish (well, not all of us). We drink snaps, and we sing very silly songs before we drink it. We do these things because they are tradition, but like most other traditions they have little to do with why we are really there. Which is to be with our friends. To cook together, eat together, tell each other stories and laugh until late. And when those cold and dark February mornings hit us, this warm mid-August evening is what we think back upon.

Green Bean Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing
This is not a very advanced salad. It is however a quick and very tasty side dish that I could eat every day during the summer.

1 lb green beans
1 spring onion, chopped

3 tbsp Dijon mustard, preferably coarse grained
2 tsp honey
juice from 1 small/medium sized lemon
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
sea salt & black pepper

a handfull fresh parsley or cilantro

Trim the beans and put them in a sauce pan with boiling water. Remove them after 1-2 minutes and cool down under ice cold water. Let them dry on a towel, then transfer them to a bowl and add the onion. Whisk together mustard and honey. Add lemon juice, vinegar and oil and whisk for about 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the beans, use your hands to make sure that they are all covered. Roughly chop the parsley and put on top of the beans. Enjoy!


  • The party looks great -- we love Kubb! A friend actually made us a Kubb set by hand and it's beautiful. Maybe you can help us clarify: a friend said that when you knock down the king you have the throw facing backwards from between your legs. True or false?
    • Hi Stacy, I am not an expert but I would say false, we always make a normal throw. It sounds like a pretty fun rule though. How cool with your own handmade Kubb, ours look terribly boring.
  • Such beautiful photos! And I just had to follow your link for "snaps" - here in the U.S., I've never heard such a term. Well, after following your link, I think this is a tradition we need here! Lovely post - enjoyed reading about your traditions there.
    • Hi Elaine, Hmm maybe we should bring some snaps with us to the U.S.? I imagine we could make a lot of friends drinking snaps and singing together... No seriously, we don't drink very much or very often, but it is a pretty fun tradition.
  • Your photos really transport you to that scene, what a wondeful night it must have been. There is nothing better than getting together with friends and sharing food, especially food with meaning.
  • Frank M
    Sorry-I mean the Swedish-(really sorry about that!)
    • Hi Frank, even though I am offended, I decided to look up a recipe for you on how we cook Crayfish in Sweden. Apparently it's not much harder than boiling an egg. You can find it here! Ps. I'm not really offended. Well, just a little ... /David
  • Frank M
    But this Texan/Cajun really wants to know how the Swiss cook crawfish!
  • Firstly let me say, your blog is VERY CREATIVE and i LOVE IT! And this post is just perfect. Friends, food, drink. Just perfect. The Salad looks lovely and fresh too....I will be returning!
    • Hi Joudi, thank you for your sweet comments about our blog and this post. It always makes us happy when new readers find their way here. /David
  • The crawfish looks delicious and the pictures are amazing! I would like to invite you to participate in my giveaway http://atasteofkoko.blogspot.com/2010/08/mini-pistachio-tea-cakes-40.html
  • Janet
    Just made this now--it's amazing! I discovered your blog a few days ago and am enjoying the archives. I look forward to your future posts!
  • Erik
    Stunning! Tänk om man hade ett sånt där ställe...
  • Absolutely beautiful, as always!
  • What a charming gathering! Looks like fun and I love the easy green been salad recipe.
  • Annie
    I completely agree with Teri! Love the recipes (and photographs - they never disappoint) and you and your family/friends are so cool!! You make me wish I lived in Sweden.
  • this salad looks delicious! And I want to be a part of your circle of friends so i can have fun traditions like this. :)
    • Hi Teri! The way we see it you already are a part of our circle of friends :) /Luise
  • Janet
    Looks lovely, and I just got a bunch of green beans from my CSA! I think you may have left the lemon juice out of the recipe, though...I tend to cook by taste so I can figure it out! :)
    • Hi Janet, it should say juice from 1 small/medium sized lemon. I've added it in the ingredient list now, thanks for pointing it out! /David
  • Fint! Blir sugen på kräftor :) Fin text om er på "About Us"sidan också! Kram
  • Beautiful photos and the salad sounds soo delicious!! I like so much your blog and your vegeterian recipes because I adore vegetables.. I heard about Crayfish parties, but didn't know what was all about.. however I adore this kind of parties where you hang out with your friends and eat, laugh, all in the middle of a nature.. :) Greetings from Croatia!
  • This is such a beautiful blog with real character in it! Stunning photography as well!
  • Love the atmosphere of the darkening August night and people gathering around a big table of those gorgeous red crayfish. We usually have one to go to every year too. Your photographs once again capture the feel of the moment and of course the beautiful food. The salad looks wonderful!
  • anusha
    good to know about this tradition..i think we all just need some reason to get together with friends and enjoy right? ..good photos as well.. very inspiring David.. my hello to ur lill Elsa and Luise..
  • There is nothing better than getting together with a group of friends and creating a big feast on a hot summer night. This meal looks absolutely divine and I'm so thrilled that you shared this experience with all of us. The salad looks wonderful and the next farmer's market we have, I'm picking up a big bag of green beans to make it.

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