Salt, Pepper and a Dollop of Cream

One Woman's Journey through Her Cookbooks

Scandinavian Christmas by Trine Hahnemann – Yes Please!!

I’m finding myself drawn to all things Scandinavian as the festive season approaches, whether it was because hubbie had lived in Sweden for a few years or the fact that we both worked for a time for a Swedish company {or two in my case} or the friends that we made that we don’t get to see as often as we’d like…

There is nothing more exciting than when you find a fellow foodie who loves the same as you and today I found it in Trine Hahnemann’s Scandinavian Christmas cookbook which the postman delivered this morning. I had ordered the book after one of my many visits to Amazon and was not disappointed!

Trine is based in Copenhagen, Denmark and she exudes a passion for food that developed during her childhood where food was at the heart of everyday life. She has already released two cookbooks in English, The Scandinavian Cookbook and the Nordic Diet.

Trine’s latest book is a delight with lots of approachable recipes that offer clean, honest food that feeds both the heart as well as the stomach. The book is broken into sections including Christmas Baking, Gifts from the Kitchen, Festive Brunch and Christmas Smörgåsbord.

Some images to ‘whet your appetite’

Recipes include Pulla bread which is a lovely plaited white bread with raisins and almonds, honey hearts, ‘Nisse’ or elf cake, lingonberry compote, slow roast duck with turnip and bacon gratin, caramel potatoes {yes, you read that right!}, fried plaice with rémoulade, blue cheese with preserved plums amongst many others. All look absolutely delicious but what immediately caught my eye was a kale pesto!

I love kale. Love it, love it, LOVE IT! But I’ve been very traditionalist and only used it in colcannon so this was a breath of fresh air to my thinking. Kale Pesto – who would have thought of that? I had all the ingredients to hand so 30 minutes after I opened the book, I had made my first recipe from it!

The pesto includes almonds, garlic, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. No parmesan here. After washing the kale and giving it a spin in my salad spinner, I whizzed everything together to create this marvellous pesto. It’s perfect with pasta, on bruschetta, as a topping on chicken or fish – in other words, this pesto is extremely versatile! And I’m delighted that I’ve been given permission to share this wonderful recipe with you.



  • 100g kale leaves, ribs removed
  • 40g blanched almonds
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Rinse the kale, then squeeze the leaves to remove as much water as possible.
  • Shred coarsely.
  • Place the kale, almonds, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice in a food processor and blend to a rough paste, seasoning to taste with more lemon, salt and pepper.

Treat yourself this Christmas and ENJOY!

SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS by TRINE HAHNEMANN, published by Quadrille (£16.99, hardback)

To find out more about Trine, visit her website,
There is also an excellent interview at Scan Magazine.
The SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS cookbook is available to buy from Amazon.

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