Our Summer In a Salad

Since we spent so many months traveling, this past winter, we agreed to stay in Sweden and Denmark this summer. It turned out to be a great decision. We can find one hundred annoying things to say about Sweden during the dark winter, but during the summer this country is pretty nice. Here are a few snapshots of some good moments.

We have been visiting our friends summer houses and eating late dinners outside. When it comes to food we have repeatedly been eating the same things this summer: salads and grilled vegetables (oh, and this falafel). And sometimes, when we felt like we needed some variation, we made salads with grilled vegetables.

Elsa’s favorite position has always been on the kitchen counter, keeping us company as we prepare the food. Give her a few months and she will probably do the chopping herself …

Here is one of the salads that we made this summer. Can you spot the marinated eggplant? Normally it takes half a day to properly marinate it, but we came up with a summer version that only takes a few minutes, and it’s great in salads. Here is how it is done: Put thin slices of eggplant on the grill until slightly burnt, soak them in olive oil, a dash of white wine vinegar, garlic, salt and fresh herbs for 10 minutes, done!

When one of David’s best friends turned 30, he arranged a 3-day festival with live music performances, great food and a snaps bar in the middle of the forest. That is how you celebrate a birthday!

Beetroot, Zucchini & Apple Salad
Serves 6 persons

This is a very light salad, suitable for hot summer days. The zucchini is grilled, but everything else is raw – even the beets – which gives it a very fresh taste and crunchy texture. Top it with macadamia nuts, Queso Manchego and herb dressing.

1 medium size zucchini
100 g macadamia nuts
3 apples
3 Chioggia beets
3 beetroots
100 g rucola
50 g Manchego cheese 

Herb & Mustard Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil 
4 tbsp white vine vinegar
1/3 cup fresh herbs
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 clove garlic
salt & pepper to taste

Preparing the vegetables: Wash the zucchini and cut it in ½ -inch slices. Grill them for about 1 minute on each side and set aside. Roast the macadamia nuts in pan on medium heat for a couple of minutes. Wash the apples and peel and rinse the Chioggia beets and beetroots. Slice them all as thin as you can.

Preparing The Herb & Mustard Dressing: Put all ingredients in a mixer or blender and mix until you get a smooth sauce. Taste.

Assembling the layers: Place a slice of apple, a slice of beetroot, a slice of grilled zucchini, a slice of Chioggia beet and some rucola leafs on top of each other. Repeat three more times. Drizzle the Herb & Mustard Dressing, shave some slices of Manchego cheese and top with a couple of roasted macadamia nuts.

If the grill is still warm after the dinner, you can use the heat to make a quick dessert. Put some fresh strawberries on the grill and let them stay until soft. Serve on a plate, topped with a dollop of yogurt with fresh vanilla and cardamom.

Photos by David & Johanna Frenkel


  • Sweden is so beautiful and I am glad you are there to enjoy all the summer has to offer! Beautiful recipe!
  • Hey you guys. I'm so happy to hear your summer is going well. The 3 day festival/ birthday party sounds perfect. What a beautiful salad you made. I can't wait until I have my own kitchen again and I can cook. On the other hand it's nice being in Sao Paulo and having everyone else cook for us. We really hope you guys get a chance to visit us in Bahia. Love, Da
  • Beautiful, beautiful pictures!
  • Dear Luise and David we have given you the blog award, you can read more here http://www.naturazin.dk/2011/08/blog-award/ BW Anja and Zenia
  • mona
    Hey David and Luise. Just wanted you to know that I held a presentation abuot your blog today in my class. Hope you get many more followers :-) See You.
  • Aaaah the salad with the little flowers! I would eat that every day. So, so pretty.
  • What an amazing way to spend the Summer! Exactly the kind of thing I dream of doing :)
  • Beautiful, inspiring post. I love the quick marination tip - must do! And anything that features manchego is a must try. Today I sampled some fab manchego at the Brindisa stall at London's foodie heaven, Borough Market. Wish I could have bought a huge wedge to take back to Edinburgh to really set off your salad.
  • Beautiful pictures of your summer. Your recipes and food philosophy are always a great inspiration to me!
  • Your posts are always so delicious and inspiring. I do a little dance when a new one comes through. I haven't made the falafels yet but they are on my list!
  • These photos are so beautiful, I think I need to move to Sweden! I can't wait to try your salad recipe, and the marinated eggplant will definitely be making its way into my kitchen soon :)
  • I live in la Mancha (Spain) where manchego cheese is, then I have to cook your recipe ¡it´s sure!
  • Val
    The photos are lovely and the food just looks so colorful and tasty. Is rucola the same as arugula? Also I am not very familiar with Chioggia beets, so I'll have to try this out soon. And I also love the thought of marinating eggplant in just a few minutes. It is my favorite vegetable and I am always looking for new ways to prepare it. Thank you for sharing!!!
  • What a beautiful post. The scenery, food, family - made me smile to see you enjoying summer in such a lovely place, plus brought back beautiful memories of my own. Thank you so much for sharing.
  • I really like the recipe, it seems delicious. And I have to add, I'm admiring the photos!
  • Gorgeous! I especially love the flowers in the salad pictured above.
  • Such yummie tips! Loveley to get a little peek at what you´ve been up to:) Vackraste familjen ever!
  • The salad looks lovely and your pictures are beautiful! I love summer :)
  • Aahhh... the flavors of Swedish summer... Amazing colors and beautiful photos as usual! I wonder if Vera would enjoy sitting on the counter as well... otherwise she very much into playing with running water by the sink while I prepare food. :)
  • Wow, Sweden is such a beautiful country! I'm actually going to live there in about a year or so, my boyfriend has good job opportunities around Linköping. And that salad, I mean... wow. I'm going to dream about Scandinavian summers until I get to enjoy them myself. (BTW, what kind of camera are you using? Your pictures are just amazing.)
  • I have a feeling that I will be thinking about grilled strawberries with cardamom all day!
  • Sini
    There is probably nothing better than Scandinavian summer. I've been enjoying marinated eggplants this summer too. The marinated eggplants à la Ottolenghi which were featured at delicious:days are a real treat.
  • Looks so so delicious! And grilled strawberries sound pretty good too :)
  • That picture of Elsa in the bathtub is the cutest ever!
  • Eve
    I love the look of that salad. Love the thin crunchy beet slices and the fact that you use Queso Manchego, my favourite cheese! You guys rock.
  • This was like flipping through a lovely summer photo album. It all looks so beautiful, delicious, and a that dollop of cuteness (Elsa) as the icing on top.
  • Drools! Can that salad be any more prettier? If a salad can look that gorgeous I can't even imagine how delicious it must've been.
  • That is one phenomenal salad! I just need directions to Sweden.....

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