Johanna Kindvall

Johanna Kindvall is an illustrator based in both New York City and Sweden. At EcoSalon, Johanna draws and writes about the food she cooks at home.

Articles by Johanna Kindvall:

Autumn Foraging: The Neighbor’s Apples Become Your Cider Vinegar

Foraging, whether in the city or country, always provides treasure.

In my neighbor’s garden there is an old apple tree. The tree and the garden is in need of care. It always hurts my heart when I see fruit of any kind fall to the ground before anyone even thinks of taking care of them. As nobody actually lives next door I thought it might be ok to go pick them. So I went over there to have a look.

The apples didn’t look that great and they would probably be terrible in most …

Autumn Foraging: Leaving Brooklyn in Search of Rose Hips

In search of ocean air and juicy rose hips…just outside of the city.

The other day I took my bike on a long long ride  to get to the sea through neighborhoods I never new existed. The idea was to get away from the city to breath fresh salty air and eat some newly caught clams. The bonus was that I got to pick ripe rose hips. The rose bushes were growing in the sand just at the edge of the beach. As a rose hip loving Swede, this was a happy moment and I picked as many as I could find.

Recipe: Fresh and Summery Tomato Pasta

The tomato comes out of the garden and into a sauce.

One of the best things about summer are the variety of fresh tomatoes that are available at the food markets right now. My favorite tomato is the local Beefsteak tomato. The may look ugly but the taste is rich and flavorful.

I can’t get enough of them so I eat tomatoes almost every day, preferably with just a simple vinaigrette on a slice of homemade sourdough bread topped with mozzarella. The tomatoes are also great in a watermelon salad with feta cheese. Another of my recent favorites is a tomato salad with red onions, celery and middle eastern string cheese. The string cheese is often spiced with black cumin (Nigella sativa) which gives this pleasant cheese an interesting flavor.

Recipe: Make Your own Kefir Like a True Swede

The wonders of the kefir grain explored.

My temporary landlord Russell Busch, who is also a good friend, just introduced me to kefir making. Kefir is a fermented milk drink that contains plenty of healthy probiotics. To make kefir from milk you need kefir grains which are a live and active culture of yeast and bacteria.

Swedish Fruntimmersveckan Recipe: Ginger & Lime Tart

What’s in a name? Probably a Swedish cake.

Like several other countries Sweden celebrates name days, which means that every single day of the year has a specific name of a person. For some people (for example, my mother in law), the name day is more important than their own birthday. For others it’s just an ordinary day.

Recipe: French Lentil Dip

Giving up some love for the legumes.

It may be silly to suggest cooking dried legumes when you can get them ready to eat in a can. But I still insist that there are so many benefits to cooking them yourself that it’s worth every step. And it’s pretty easy to do. You can also cook large quantities at a time and store smaller portions in your freezer.

Legumes like lentils or beans work all year round in different ways. Cold in salads and warm as a side to eggs, beets or with any green vegetable. Chickpeas are wonderful as a starter together with toasted almonds. Green lentils with beets, feta and parsley create a simple and delicious salad alone or together with baked vegetables or meat. Hummus or any other dip (see below) are perfect treats and easy to whip up with any fresh produce that the summer can provide.

Mustard Herring for Swedish Midsummer

Celebrate the sweetness of of a Swedish Midsummer.

This year I will be celebrating midsummer here in NY. Midsummer is the day when Swedes like me celebrate the longest and brightest day of the year. We eat plenty of herring, new potatoes (that you buy freshly picked and dirty), aged cheese on “knäckebröd“, drink aquavit and sing songs. The dessert is always strawberries which are often eaten plain with just a little sugar and cream (either whipped or mixed with milk.) Some make creamy strawberry cakes while I serve mine with dark chocolate cake and whipped cream.

Recipe: Swedish Rhubarb Jam

Rhubarb is meant for more than just pie.

Currently I’m in Sweden taking care of an old house in the countryside. It’s as beautiful and lovely as its sounds. In the garden there is rhubarb, stinging nettles and leeks. The strawberries are flowering which shows that there will be delicious and fresh treats to pick in a couple of weeks . The deep red poppies are surrounded by bumblebees and the fish are jumping in the pond.