Midsummer might just be one of my favorite times of the Scandinavian year—specifically because of the food. Think smoked or cured salmon and pickled herring, potato salad, berries, aquavit, and beer. Celebrations might involve picnics and bonfires, and in Sweden, dancing around a large decorated pole.
Here at home in Seattle, I keep it pretty simple and flexible—relaxed, as the day should be. In the past, it’s involved an intimate picnic for my family in a hidden meadow in Eastern Washington, cramming as many people as possible around the tables on my patio at home, or a simple gathering with the neighbors we’re lucky enough to call good friends.
This year will be quite different because of the pandemic–I’m thinking of a picnic in our yard, perhaps–but I’m still looking forward to marking the day with good food that reflects my family’s Scandinavian heritage.
No matter how we mark the occasion, I think of it as an opportunity to extend hospitality and love to my family or guests like my grandparents did for me whenever I visited in my childhood and youth.
Any number of dishes would be appropriate to serve for a Midsummer feast. I’m partial to grilled salmon with a creamy herb- or lemon-flecked sauce, berries, and potatoes in some form. Simply boiled or roasted potatoes would certainly do the trick, but since it’s a special occasion, I’m planning to make this flavorful potato salad packed with radishes, dill, corichons, and chives. And, of course, there will be aquavit.
How do you celebrate Midsummer? Leave a comment with some of your memories or favorite things to serve.
Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan with generously salted water. Place over heat and bring to a boil. Boil gently until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and let come to room temperature while you make the dressing.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar. Give it a sample and add salt to taste. Add the potatoes and stir to coat. Add the radishes, cornichons, dill, and chives and stir gently one last time.
Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with chive blossoms, if using. Serve at room temperature.