A highlight every August, the annual ‘kräftskiva’, or crayfish party, in Sweden is not something to take lightly. It’s a convivial affair, with plenty of crayfish, salads, snaps and silly hats.
Because the summers are so short in Scandinavia, it feels right to mark the arrival of locally caught crayfish with a big party. Just remember if using live crayfish they have quite vicious pincers so be careful handling them – hold them by their main body before cooking.
Dill crowns, the flowering part of the fully grown plant, are commonly found on farmers’ markets in Sweden but less readily available elsewhere. You can grow them at home, or source them from specialist suppliers who stock edible flowers and pollen varieties. Fennel fronds or dill fronds would make good alternatives.
This salad is one of our favourite summer recipes from the book – it’s understated but holds so much flavour thanks to the grated Parmesan, extra virgin olive oil, lemon and chives.
500g (1lb 2oz) new potatoes
30g (1oz) Parmesan, grated
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 unwaxed lemon, zest and juice
200g (7oz) crayfish tails (brined, see this recipe)
Small handful of chive flowers or chives, chopped
Small bunch of basil, leaves roughly torn
Boil the potatoes in a large pan of water and cook until just tender, about 20 minutes, then drain and allow to cool a little.
Whisk together the Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice and zest with a little salt and pepper.
Toss the warm potatoes with the crayfish tails, chive flowers, basil and dressing. Serve immediately while still warm.