Butternut Squash Soup

Flavorful food doesn’t have to contain a lot of spices or ingredients and this delicious butternut squash soup is a perfect example! It only contains a few ingredients and is only seasoned with salt and pepper and it tastes so fabulous and simple. The sweetness form both the sautéed shallots and the roasted butternut squash combined with stock, sour cream and fried kale is just perfect – and then it is healthy 😉
In the recipe we have written “chicken/vegetable” stock but we alway use home made chicken stock ourselves, but are you a vegetarian or are you serving the soup for vegetarians, you can replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock.

We have made many soup this spring and the first two weeks of the winter and we will try to upload as many soup recipes as possible during the remaining winter season.

Hope that you will enjoy the soup as much as we have done and please leave a comment with your honest opinion 🙂

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

Soup

1 butternut squash

4 banana shallots

1/2 tbsp. butter

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup water

1 cup sour cream

Salt & pepper

 

Garnish

2 cups kale, chopped

1 cup canola oil

 

 

 

Slice the butternut squash in two and remove the seeds. Place on a piece of baking paper and bake at 400F for approximately 1 hour or until tender.

Peel the baked butternut squash and chop the squash meat into 1 inch cubes. Slice the shallots. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and sauté the sliced shallots for a few minutes. Add the chopped baked squash pieces and sauté for a further 5 minutes. Then add stock and water, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine and bring to a boil. Put the lid on and let cook at medium/low heat for 45-50 minutes.

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Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and season again if necessary. Pour the blended soup through a strainer and back into the sauce pan. Add sour cream and stir to combine. Remove the soup from the heat and let rest while making the garnish.

Rinse the chopped kale in cold water and squeeze it in a tea towel to remove as much water as possible.

Heat up the canola oil to 320F and fry the kale 1/2 a cup at a time. Transfer the fried kale to a plate with paper towel.Butternut Squash Soup 2_Fotor_Collage

 

Pour the soup into four soup bowls and garnish with the fried kale. Enjoy the soup with family and friend – promise that everyone will love it 🙂Butternut Squash Soup 8

Bon Appétit!

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

Soup

1 butternut squash

4 banana shallots

5 g butter

5 dl chicken or vegetable stock

2.5 dl water

2.5 sour cream

Salt & pepper

 

Garnish

5 dl kale, chopped

2.5 dl canola oil

 

 

Sea Salt Caramel Truffles

Every year around christmas time I crave for truffles – who doesn’t?? And as my cooking skills have developed a lot within the last one-two years, I decided to advance from simple chocolate truffles to something a bit more advanced (of cause I will still be making chocolate truffle).
Looking for some cooking tools at Williams-Sonoma’s home page I stumbled upon this sea salt caramel truffle recipe and rushed to the nearest super market to by sea salt 🙂

I’ve made caramels many times before and find it relatively easy as long as I have the appropriate tool (a candy thermometer!!!), but it is quite time consuming so if you consider to try it – what a silly question, I know that you consider trying it 😉 – do it on a day where you have other duties to do at home, so that you can combine things (make the caramel mixture, do the laundry, roll the caramels, prepare dinner, cover caramels with chocolate, serve dinner, eat caramels with evening coffee 🙂 ).

I had a cookie jar with christmas cookies (vanilla wreath cookies, gingerbread cookies and Jewish cookies) and these lovely truffles with me to the office this morning, and OMG i was popular 🙂

 

Ingredients (70 caramels)

1 cup sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 stick butter

1 cup heavy cream

2 tbsp. sea salt, for sprinkling

10 oz. dark quality chocolate (70%), I prefer Amedei Toscano Black

 

In a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter and 1/2 cup of the cream. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and then cook, stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 240°F, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and drizzle in the remaining 1/2 cup cream, stirring to mix well. The mixture will bubble up slightly.

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Return the pan to the heat and continue to cook until the thermometer registers 244°F, about 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into a prepared pan. Sea Salt Caramels 2_Fotor_Collage

Let stand for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The mixture should be firm to the touch but not hard. Using a teaspoon, scoop out and form balls of caramel and place them on a sheet of baking paper. If you want the caramels to be exactly the same size, you can weight the caramels – to get 70 caramels, they should weight 0.35 oz each. The caramel scraps can be gathered and shaped into balls by hand. Sprinkle each ball with a few grains of sea salt. Let stand for 1 hour before dipping. Sea Salt Caramels 3_Fotor_Collage

Chop the chocolate roughly and melt 2/3 in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Pour the melted chocolate over the remaining chocolate and wait for 30 seconds before you begin to stir.
Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. Sea Salt Caramels 4_Fotor_Collage

Dip the caramel balls one at a time into the chocolate, turning to coat. Transfer to the baking paper to cool. Add a sprinkle of salt to the top of each truffle and let stand until the chocolate is firm and set.
Store in layers, separated by waxed paper, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Sea Salt Caramels 16Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (70 caramels)

2.5 dl sugar

2.5 dl light corn syrup

113 g butter

2.5 dl heavy cream

2 tbsp. sea salt, for sprinkling

285 g dark quality chocolate (70%), I prefer Amedei Toscano Black

Stormy Red Lentil Soup

Today we have one of the biggest and longest storms we have had for many many years here in Denmark. All the TV channels report from the storm, the police advice everyone to stay indoor and one person has already been reported dead 😦 We had a hurricane back in October where three people lost their lives but it only lasted a few hours, whereas the storm today will last up to 24 hours. At the moment all bridges has been closed, national trains has stopped all traffic and some of the airports has cancelled all traffic for the rest of the day….

So what to do on a #do#not#leave#the#house#not#even#to#go#buy#groceries?? Well, I have been doing many things, some more interesting than others. First I have been preparing for tomorrow where we are going to make lots of beef jerky and one of my favorite christmas dishes: pheasant paté :-). Then I have played with some 100% chocolate and condensed milk, trying to make truffles – that did not go well (but it tasted fabulous). After that I decided to make soup for dinner, opened the kitchen cabinets and found a bag of red lentil – so it was an easy choice today as red lentil soup tastes delicious 🙂

While soup was cooking a made a few gloss paper christmas hearts (pictures will follow) and now I am enjoying a glass of Glenburgie-Glenlivet whisky and a piece of Amedei chocolate 🙂 And hopefully Chris will come home from work in a few hours, so that I won’t have to sleep alone!

Bag to the soup…. I have tasted lentil soup many times before but never made it myself. It was easier than expected and it tasted so delicious that I called Chris all excited to let him know that I had just made a perfect soup 🙂 Hope that you will try the recipe and leave a comment wether you like it , love it or hate it!

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

Soup

1 tbsp. butter

2 large onions

2 garlic cloves

1-2 red chili

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 large tomato

1 1/2 cup red lentils

4 cups chicken stock

1 cup water

1 cup milk

1/2 cup cream

1/3 cup red wine

Salt & pepper

 

Garnish

1 cup macadamia nuts

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1 bundle pea shoots

 

Chop onions, garlic cloves, chili and tomato finely (today I used my Nicer Dicer – the smallest step). Melt the butter in a sauce pan and sauté onions, garlic and chili for 4-5 minutes. Add tomato paste and chopped tomatoes and sauté for yet a few minutes.

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Add lentils, chicken stock and water, put the lid on the sauce pan and let cook on medium-low heat for 50-60 minutes. Stir occasionally to aviod burning.

Transfer the cook lentil soup to a stand blender and blend until smooth. Add milk, cream and red wine, blend again, taste and season with salt and pepper.

While the soup is cooking you can prepare the macadamia nuts. Chop the nuts roughly and roast them on a dry pan until the begin to take on color and release a nutty note.Stormy Red Lentil Soup 2_Fotor_Collage

Pour the soup into your prettiest soup plates and and garnish with pea shoots and roasted nuts or grated parmesan cheese and nuts – both testes wonderful 🙂Stormy Red Lentil Soup 3_Fotor_Collage

Bon Appétit!

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

Soup

1 tbsp. butter

2 large onions

2 garlic cloves

1-2 red chili

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 large tomato

3.75 dl red lentils

1 liter chicken stock

2.5 dl water

2.5 dl milk

1.25 dl cream

0.8 dl red wine

Salt & pepper

 

Garnish

2.5 dl macadamia nuts

2.5 dl parmesan cheese, grated

1 bundle pea shoots

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread cookies is one of my favorite christmas cookies and I believe that this recipes gives you the best gingerbread cookies that you have ever tasted (everyone says so)!!
I got the recipe 10 years ago from a high school friend who’s mother had it. In Denmark we call it brunkager (brown cookies), but when googling gingerbread cookies, the recipes looks quite similar 🙂

You might think that it contains to many ingredients, is too complicated to make or has a too long resting time (1 week), but please try it before you decide not go make it again, cause I an quite sure that you will find that it is all worth it 🙂

If you consider to make the recipe in your stand mixer, PLEASE the sure that the motor is big enough to run a heavy dough through out the entire kneading time – and if you have Kitchen aid stand mixer I can already now say, from my own bad experiences, that it can NOT do it!! So use your hands instead – that way you will also burn a few calories while kneading (maybe I should wear my heart rate monitor next time I make this recipe, to establish how hard I work 🙂 )

Well…. enough about all my crazy ideas – jump to the kitchen and get started so that you and your family can enjoy these fabulous cookies in the christmas days.

 

Ingredients (300 small cookies)

2 1/5 cup margarine

2 1/2 cup sugar

4/5 cup syrup

8 cups flour

2 tsp. ground cloves

2 tsp. ground cardamom

2 tbsp. ground cinnamon

3/4 cup almonds

3/4 cup candied orange peel, chopped

4 tsp. potash

2 tbsp. water, cold

Melt margarine, sugar and syrup in a sauce pan at medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Stir occasionally to avoid it from burning. Set the mixture aside to cool until it reached body temperature (use your little finger as a thermometer) and make sure that it doesn’t get to cold!

While the cooling you can prepare the remaining ingredients. Blanche the almonds, roast them on a dry pan for a few minutes until they begin to release their lovely nutty flavor. Let cool and chop finely (but don’t blend into flour).
Chop the candied orange peel if it wasn’t already chopped when you bought it.

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Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, except potash, and mix well.
Combine potash and cold water and add to the dry ingredient mixture 1 minute before you plan to assemble the dough. Add the cooled margarine mixture to the flour and use a rubber spatula to fold together. When almost  combined, transfer the cookie dough to the kitchen table and knead thoroughly – approximately 10-15 minutes. The consistency of the cookie dough will stay the same, but the kneading process is very important as it divides all the seasoning and give an equal result to all the cookies.

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Cut the cookie dough into smaller pieces, cover with plastic wrap and fridge for 1-7 days (I alway bake 1/4 of the dough on the first day, and wait with the remaining to the seventh day).
Remove the cookie dough from the fridge a few hours before baking, to ensure that it is soft enough to roll out. Roll the dough out (approximately 0.1 inch thick) and cut the cookies with your favorite cookie cutters.

Bake on a piece of baking paper at 400F for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Eat the cookies immediately or store in an airtight container.

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Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (300 small cookies)

500 g margarine

500 g sugar

2 dl syrup

1 kg flour

2 tsp. ground clove

2 tsp. ground cardamom

2 tbsp. ground cinnamon

100 g almonds

100 g candied orange peel

4 tsp. potash

2 tbsp. water, cold

 

Vanilla Wreath Cookies

Finally we reached December again and the christmas baking can begin 🙂 I just love baking christmas cookies, serve them for friend and family or wrap them in cellophane and use as a home made hostess gift.

Vanilla Wreath cookies is one of those cookies which I remember from visiting my grandparents around christmas, but it is actually the first time I have made them my self – and it was way easier than expected!
Some recipes call for a mincer to make vanilla wreaths, but I just used a piping bag (and my strong biceps 🙂 ) and I think that my vanilla wreaths is just as pretty as those made in the mincer 🙂

Which cookies do you bake for christmas??

I has been encouraged to participate in Bake Fest which is a monthly event created by Cooks Joy and has run for approximately two years now. I didn’t consider for many seconds as I love to share recipes and get inspired by others recipes. Moreover, it creates worldwide fellowship of bloggers which can learn so much from different food cultures all over the world 🙂

This month host is Lail who has the blog with a spin.

Bake Fest

Ingredients (60 cookies)

1 vanilla pod, seeds

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 large egg (or 1 1/2 medium)

2 1/4 cup flour

3 oz. almond flour (grounded almonds)

 

Combine vanilla seeds, sugar and butter in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until evenly combined. Add the egg and beat again until combined. Finally add flour and almond flour and beat for a few seconds. Turn the cookie dough onto the kitchen table and knead until smooth.

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Add the cookies dough to a solid quality piping bag with a star-shaped pipe.  Press the dough in circles (2-inch in diameter) on a piece of baking paper and bake at 400F for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden.vanilla wreaths 2_Fotor_Collage

Let cool in a wire rack and store in air tight cookie container or serve immediately while baking another portion 🙂

vanilla wreaths 8

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (60 cookies)

1 vanilla pod, seeds

225 g butter, room temperature

200 g sugar

1 large egg (or 1 1/2 medium eggs)

280 g flour

85 g almond flour

Danish Rye Bread

Many of you readers might have heard about nordic rye bread but never tasted it, as it is almost impossible to obtain in other than the nordic/scandinavian countries. The Danish rye bread differs from other rye bread types as it is less sweet and less dark.
In Denmark we eat it for lunch as an open sandwich with cold cuts, pieces of meat or fish, cheese or spreads and compared to bread made with wheat flour it is much more dense.

Foreigners (not Danes) often finds it too dense and heavy, but served the right way as a good quality open sandwich we believe that almost every one will love it 🙂

The sour dough used in this recipe is more than 100 years old and keeps living and raising our rye bread to perfection, but when making the bread for the first time you will either have to buy the sour dough or make it from scratch (1/2 cup wheat flour, 1/2 cup rye flour and 1 cup water; combine and let rest on the kitchen table for 4-5 days; stir once a day).

Hope that all you foreigners will give this nordic recipe a change and in times we will definitely add pictures of home made open sandwiches as we make them in Denmark 🙂

 

Ingredients (1 bread)

Day 1

4 cups rye flour

1 1/3 cup beer

1 4/5 cup water

3 tbsp. sour dough

 

Day 2

4 cups cracked rye kernels

2/5 water

4/5 cup water, boiling

1 tbsp. salt

1 tbsp. chia seeds

1 1/4 cup sunflower seeds

 

Day 1

Combine rye flour with beer and 1 4/5 cup water in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add sour dough and stir until evenly combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside on the kitchen table for 15 – 20 hours.

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Day 2

Place cracked rye kernels in a separate mixing bowl and add the boiling water. Stir until the kernels have absorbed all the water and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Pour chia seeds, sunflower seeds, salt and the remaining water into the raised batter and fold gently with a rubber spatula to combine. Then add the soaked kernels one cup at a time and gently fold again.

Take 3 tbsp. of the combined rye bread batter and put it in a airtight container and fridge until next time you are baking rye bread (preferably no longer than two week – we eat one bread a week, so it is no problem for us to use the sour dough 🙂 ).
Place the remaining rye bread batter in a greased loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and let raise until it reaches the edge of the loaf pan. Danish Rye Bread 2_Fotor_Collage

Bake the raised rye bread at 400F for 90 minutes (remember to remove the plastic wrap before putting the bread in the oven).

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Remove the baked rye bread from the loaf pan, cover it in a tea towel and let rest on a wire rack for at least 5 hours or until completely cooled. To soften the crust, you can store the bread in a plastic bag for up to 8 days at room temperature.

Danish Rye Bread 16Bon Appétit!

 

Ingredients (1 bread)

Day 1

550 g rye flour

1 beer

4.5 + 1 dl water

3 tbsp. sour dough

 

Day 2

600 g cracked rye kernels

2 dl water, boiling

1 tbsp. salt

1 tbsp. chia seeds

150 g sunflower seeds

 

 

Dad’s Fish Cakes

Chris is working the night shift these weeks so we don’t see each other that much and we don’t cook and eat together 😦 I don’t know why, but I rarely make a proper meal when I’m alone, so yesterday my parents decided to feed (properly a good ideas as I have been living of popcorn, meringue kisses and macarons the few days).

For a looooong time my dad has claimed that he makes the best fish cakes in the world, so last night wanted to prove it… and he was right!! It is without doubt the best fish cakes I have ever tasted (and I have tasted many many many variations of fish cake)! And I am not alone with that opinion… On my way home from my parents, I stopped at Chris’ work with dinner and he loved them too 🙂

Three things that make these fish cakes better than other fish cakes is: 1) the fish is chopped and not minced which gives a more fluffy and light texture, 2) bacon – everything with bacon tastes fabulous! and, 3) it contains spring onions instead of regular white onions, giving it a bit more fresh taste!

I hope that you’ll try this recipe so that my dad’s fish cake recipe can go all around the world 🙂

 

Ingredients (18 fish cakes)

2 pounds cod filet

6 tbsp. bread crumbs

2 eggs

4 large spring onions

15 slices bacon

5 tbsp. milk

Salt & pepper

 

Cut the fish into small cubes and chop it finely. Do the same with bacon and spring onions – but for God’s sake don’t blend it!! If you blend the fish toy will end up with heavy and sticky fish cakes instead of light and textured.

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Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Let rest in the fridge before dividing it into 18 equally sized pieces. Form each piece into a ball and press it flat – approximately 1/2-inch thick.

Fry in butter for about 4 minutes on each side. Let rest for a few minutes before served. These were served with cooked potatoes and white parsley sauce 🙂 Knuds Fish Cakes 2_Fotor_Collage Knuds Fish Cakes 13

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (18 fish cakes)

900 g cod filet

6 tbsp. bread crumbs

2 eggs

4 large spring onions

15 slices bacon

5 tbsp. milk

Salt & pepper

The Famous Pulled Pork Burger

It’s sunday – it’s hangover time – it’s burger time! And nothing beats a perfect pulled pork burger?? We have made pulled pork for years – even before it was know in Denmark. We make it from a whole ham, which we smoke at a low temperature for 18-20 hours before it’s pulled and eaten. Most people in Denmark use a pork collar which they prepare in the oven or  in a charcoal grill, but rarely in a smoker! Actually many famous Danish chefs recommend using pork collar and we couldn’t disagree more!! The biggest difference between the methods and meat cuts is the taste. Smoking the meat for hours and in a proper smoker gives the meat so much flavor and a beautiful beautiful color which you will never e able to obtain in the oven or in a charcoal grill.
But enough about our complaints and disagreements, and on to the pulled pork burger 🙂

We often make burgers: blue cheese burger, peanut butter burgers, cheese burgers etc. but this is without doubt our favorite burger in the whole world – and many of our friends seems to agree with this 🙂 You should try it – we’ll guarantee that you will LOVE it!

 

Ingredients (2 burgers)

1 1/2 cup pulled pork

1 cup coleslaw

2 burger buns (ciabatta is preferable)

1 tbsp. mayo

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. whisky bbq sauce

 

Heat the pulled pork in a sauce pan and add 1/2 cup bbq sauce – stir to combine and remove from heat when the bbq sauce begins to caramelize.

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Cut the buns in two and heat them in the oven. Spread mayo on the bottom half and 1/2 tbsp. bbq sauce on each top half.
Place coleslaw on the bottom bun followed by pulled pork and the remaining bbq sauce and the top bun!Pulled Pork Burger 2_Fotor_Collage

 

Serve on a hot summer day, a hangover sunday or any other day of the year 🙂

This is without doubt our favorite burger – actually it is our favorite dish! Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do 🙂Pulled Pork Burger 4

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (2 burgers)

3.75 dl pulled pork

2.5 dl coleslaw

2 burger buns (ciabatta is preferable)

1 tbsp. mayo

1.25 dl + 2 tbsp. whisky bbq sauce

 

 

Crunchy Romanesco Salad

Romanesco broccoli (or as some call it, romanesque cauliflower) is a lovechild between broccoli and cauliflower and belongs to the group of edible flowers. In its taste it is milder than cauliflower but more powerful than broccoli, and then it just look fabulous! Some say that taste is everything, but we believe that good looks give the dish the final touch that contributes to the over all experience – and romanesco broccoli is one of the vegetables that makes the food look fabulous 🙂

We have made this salad a dozen times before but haven’t had time to take pictures before now. It only contains a few ingredients, only takes a few minutes to make and tastes fabulous. So if you see a romanesco broccoli next time you buy groceries, buy it and try it!

 

Ingredients (3-4 servings)

1 Romanesco broccoli

1 large red onion

1/2 cup cashew nuts, roasted

 

Dressing

1 tbsp. dijon mustard

3 tsp. honey

1 tsp. olive oil

Salt

Pepper

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Clean the romanesco broccoli and cut it into small bite sized bouquets. Cut the onion into small pieces and place in a bowl together with the romanesco bouquets.

Place mustard, honey and olive oil in another bowl and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, mixing once or twice to divide the dressing.

Arrange the salad on a plate or in small serving bowls. Chop the cashew nuts roughly and drizzle on top of the salad.

Goes great with a medium/rare steak and salt baked potatoes 🙂
Romanesco Salad 5

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (3-4 servings)

1 Romanesco broccoli

1 large red onion

1.25 dl cashew nuts, roasted

 

Dressing

1 tbsp. dijon mustard

3 tsp. honey

1 tsp. olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Red Cabbage Salad with Peanut Butter and Blackberries

A while ago my cousin Connie send me the recipe for the fabulous salad with red cabbage, peanut butter dressing and blackberries. She know how we love all kinds of food and she often recommends recipes she have tried herself.

Red cabbage is one of those cabbage types which the Danes eat a lot in the autumn and winter periods – especially around Christmas where we serve it with oven roasted duck, cooked potatoes, potato chips and gravy (hopefully I will get the opportunity to take some pictures of the food this Christmas).

Red cabbage tends to be quite bitter when eaten raw, but combined with both sweetness (e.g. peanut butter), freshness (e.g. pomegranate seeds, apple- or orange slices) and crispiness (e.g. roasted nuts) it can be the perfect side dish for all kinds of flavorful meat types like duck, venison, bison or wild boar.

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

1 handful parsley

1 red chili

1/2 lemon, juice

1 tbsp. peanut butter

2 tbsp. honey

2 tsp. salt

1/4 red cabbage

1/5 cup pumpkin seeds, salted

1/2 cup blackberries

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Chop the parsley and chili finely. Combine peanut butter, honey and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the chopped parsley and chili.

Remove the stem from the cabbage and slice it into thin small pieces. Combine with peanut butter dressing and let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.

While the salad is resting you can roast the salted pumpkin seeds on a hot pan for 5-6 minutes or until they begin to get golden. Stir once in a while to avoid burning.

Arrange the rested salad in a beautiful white plate and decorate with roasted pumpkin seeds and blackberries. The perfect salad for duck, venison or other very flavorful meat types 🙂
Red Cabbage Salad with Peanut Butter Sauce 4

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (4 servings)

1 handful parsley

1 red chili

0.5 lemon, juice

1 tbsp. peanut butter

2 tbsp. honey

2 tsp. salt

0.25 red cabbage

0.5 dl pumpkin seeds, salted

1.25 dl blackberries