I got all my work done, which was a sh**load of work. I transferred myself 1000 km up north, which was a long journey with three kids. I shoveled tons of snow, which was great bicep & tricep exercise btw. I unset an old-school mousetrap, which was super scary. And I unpacked the full-packed car with skis and snowboards falling on your head from the roof box, which was simply just a dreadful task.

Now I'm on vacation. And when on vacation, I couldn't care less, if I'm a bit late with my Christmas-related recipe post.

So here you go, an almost-too-late-Christmas-recipe-gift to all of y'all who still need some inspiration for the holidays. From my salad book, Jäävuoren huippu, published in April.


1 cauliflower (ca. 800 g)
1/4-1/2 dl olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
4 dl couscous
1 pomegranate
100 g blanched almonds (ca. 1 1/2 dl)
100 g raisins (ca. 1 1/2 dl)
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 dl parsley finely chopped
1 dl mint finely chopped
  1. Cut cauliflower in 1-1,5 cm slices. Brush both sides with olive oil and place the slices on a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
  2. Roast 30-35 minutes in 220°C.
  3. Cook couscous according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
  4. Seed the pomegranate. Toast almonds on dry pan until they start to get golden.
  5. Toss couscous together with raisins, almonds and pomegranate seeds.
  6. Mix olive oil, lemon juice and spices together and add to couscous.
  7. Chop herbs and add to couscous.
  8. Serve roasted cauliflowers on top of the couscous salad.

Merry merry merry Christmas & all the best for the new year!



End of September I asked my kids, if they wanted to do Lihaton Lokakuu, meat free October, this year. Happily they replied yes, but on one condition. I'd need to promise, I was not going to make a carrot & macaroni casserole I did couple years back during the same meatless month. They are apparently still traumatized by it.

This veggie pasta dish didn't seem to cause any serious consequences. They liked it. A lot.


250g chickpeas (canned)
3-4 garlic cloves
1 big leek
1 dl olive oil
1/4 tl salt
black pepper
(350g spaghetti)
  1. Rinse & drain chickpeas. Peel and thinly slice garlic cloves. Chop leek in 1 cm rounds.
  2. Heat olive oil on a pan, add garlics and leek and lower the temperature. Sauté on really low temp until soft, don't fry or burn. (Cook spaghetti in the meanwhile.)
  3. Add chickpeas, heat up, add salt & ground pepper to taste.
  4. Mix with cooked spaghetti, serve with fresh basil & parmesan.



You've got exactly two days left to visit Helsinki's Baltic Herring Market. The fishermen are selling their goodies on the docks of the Market Square until tomorrow.

On Friday the sale of dozens of different style marinated Baltic herrings, pickled cucumbers and black archipelago bread goes until 19.00, but the fun ain't over by then: Marketplace dance with a live dance orchestra and a dj goes on until 22.00.

If you haven't danced all night, you can kick off your market day on Saturday already at 7.00. Or then sleep in and go a bit later. Still early enough to make a day's catch, since by 15.00 everything should be sold.

Taking kids to Baltic Herring Market is a good thing anyway, but on Saturday there's also gonna be a balloon workshop, fishing for kids and a herring disco!

Go & enjoy. Sun is supposed to be shining the whole weekend through!

Didn't know that Jack Sparrow eats smoked lampreys too.

Helsinki Baltic Herring Market: www.stadinsilakkamarkkinat.fi
Friday's marketplace dance event in fb: www.facebook.com/events/1639927022950368/
Saturday's kids' event in fb: www.facebook.com/events/945528122156965/



According to the Köppen climate classification, Finland’s climate is subarctic: Severe winter, no dry season, cool summer. I bet that in Anchorage, Alaska, which is in the same climate category, the locally produced tomato doesn’t taste much better in January as it does here.

Environment surely doesn’t like the tomatoes produced in the heated and lighted energy guzzling greenhouses either, nor the ones flown in from sunny Spain. From the ecological point of view, consuming in-season vegetables & fruits that have been transported from a short distance would be the best thing to do. If you happen to hate the nature, you can also choose to use seasonal veggies for the sake of better taste, higher nutritional value, or money. Yep, you heard me right. They tend to be cheaper when in season.

However, up at this latitude, the growing season isn’t too long. That means we need to get creative. Like turn cucumbers into pickles and berries into jam. Gladly our ancestors already realized how well some vegetables survive throughout the long winter when stored wisely, so we can still call the many-month-old beetroot a seasonal vegetable in the middle of February.

But sometimes we need nutrition supplements. Like a piece of fruit, that just doesn’t grow in places like Finland. Or even Sweden. An exotic fruit. Like a kiwi. Did you know that kiwi fruit for us Finns is actually in season from December to April, when you find Italian and Greek kiwis in you local supermarket? Otherwise they are mainly the ones that have made their looooong journey all the way from New Zealand.

Or our new national fruit, avocado? It has it’s seasons too, believe or not. European ones are sold from November to March. See, shorter distance then from Peru!

Among many other things, the kiwi and avocado trivia I learned from the 2016 edition of Satokausikalenteri, a guide to seasonal vegetable use. A guide that I think every food eating Finn should read through.

Order yours at www.satokausikalenteri.fi

The guide was received from Satokausikalenteri



You can't go wrong with broad beans, can you?

(for 2)

200g (ca. 3,5 dl) podded broad beans (ca. 800g unpodded)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 small broccoli or 1/2 of a bigger one
100g spinach (ca. four handfuls)
1/4 tsp salt
black pepper

1 tbsp whole grain mustard
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion

  1. Start with making the dressing: Mix mustard with vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and then add olive oil. Thinly slice the red onion and add to the sauce and set aside.
  2. Boil the podded broad beans for 2 minutes, then drain and plunge into cold water. Remove bean skins.
  3. Heat the olive oil and add thinly sliced garlic cloves and sauté for 2 minutes over medium heat. 
  4. Cut broccoli into florets and add to the pan. Keep frying for couple more minutes.
  5. Toss in the skinned broad beans and after a minute also spinach leaves. Don't let spinach wilt, just quickly warm them up. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve immediately with red onion & mustard dressing.



Every August it happens. The phenomenon called pasta craving. After having eaten mainly salads, fresh fish, new potatoes and some grilled things for more than a month, I get the overpowering urge to cook and eat olive oily spaghetti, creamy fettuccine and cheesy macaroni.

So there's no question where the co-op farm's weekly harvest share fennels (& basils) ended up.

(for 4 persons)

4 small fennel bulbs (or 2 big fat ones)
250g shrimps
250g cherry tomatoes
1,5 dl olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1/2-1 red chili
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
fresh basil
  1. Crush or slice garlic and finely slice chili. Heat oil on a pan and add garlics & chilis. Sauté for 5 minutes. Watch out for not to burn them, keep heat pretty low.
  2. Add thinly sliced fennels and keep cooking until they start to soften. Add salt and lemon juice.
  3. When spaghetti is done, add shrimps & tomatoes to the pan and heat up. Serve with fresh basil leaves.



I’ve been working all summer. But when you’re working on a dream-come-true-type of a project, it doesn’t really count as work. Own cookbook is something I’ve dreamed of and in form of a book full of seasonal salads it’s now becoming reality.

For the past weeks I’ve been working on ideas, recipes and planning the whole thing. On following Tuesday begins the next phase when we start shooting the book. We, as in me and the amazingly talented photographer, Suvi Kesäläinen.

Book is published by Hanna Gullichsen & Joonas Laurila’s No Tofu Publishing and it’ll be out next spring.

I’m so excited I could burst. SO stoked.




Being more a city than a country girl, I have to say there's something fabulously primitive about fishing and eating the catch of the day right after. Feels great. And when it's your 8 year old daughter's first pike ever, it feels even better.

(for 4)

400g pike fillet (no need to remove all bones)
2 dl cream
0,5 egg
2 tbsp dill
1 tsp salt
white pepper
  1. Cut the pike fillet in smaller pieces and grind in a food processor.
  2. Add cream, egg, dill, salt & white pepper and pulse until smooth.
  3. With wet hands, form four patties. Fry the patties on medium heat for couple of minutes on both sides. 

Quick pickled cucumber & onion:
1/2 cucumber or 1 gherkin
1 small onion
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp water
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
  1. Slice the cucumber & onion thinly.
  2. Mix everything together and let stand until ready to be served.

Coriander yogurt sauce:
1 dl Greek yogurt
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh coriander
white pepper
  1. Mix everything together.

Wasabi mayo:
1 dlmayo (I'd prefer Hellmann's)
1-2 tsp wasabi paste
  1. Mix everything together.

green lettuce leaves
8 slices of bread
  1. Toast the bread, then spread with wasabi mayo.
  2. Place a fish patty on 4 toasts, top with lettuce, cucumber, onions and yogurt sauce, and finalize with another toast slice with wasabi mayo.



All rhubarbs taste marvelous, but when it comes to outer beauty, there are differences. Huge differences.

There are the elegant ones, that have beautiful pink or red stalks and make gorgeous looking pastries, chic pale pink drinks and intense coloured jam. You know, the ones that tend to end up on the pages of food magazines.

And then there are the clumsy country cousins, that have raw-looking green stalks and make most baked or cooked things not-so-pretty.

In my garden, we have the ugly ducklings growing. But on the co-op field, we definitely have some beauties.


200g soft butter
1,5 dl sugar
1 egg
4 dl wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder

200g sour cream
1 egg
1 dl sugar
6 dl rhubarb stalks cut into pieces
  1. Cream the soft butter with sugar.
  2. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together and add to the butter mixture.
  4. Divide the batter evenly on bottom and sides of a pie form.
  5. Mix sour cream together with egg and sugar.
  6. Put half of the rhubarbs on the bottom, pour over the sour cream mixture and then add the rest of the rhubarbs.
  7. Bake ca. 30 minutes in 200°C.

No matter the looks, to me this pie tastes the best after having spent the night in fridge.

Aino disagrees strongly.



I’m the kind of a person who successfully kills every green thing in the house. Once I bought some really nice succulent plants, because someone suggested that those are unbeatable when it comes to forgetting to water them. After some months they were dead.

And as I just wrote about the rhubarbs, it's my husband taking care of my herbs and vegetables out there, in the tiny garden of ours.

Now, however, I’ve become a farmer. Again I’m not the one anyone trusts to give responsibility of a living plant, but I’m kind of an estate owner. I was offered to become a member of Herttoniemi Food Co-operative, that runs an Urban Co-operative Farm. The idea is that participants each get an area of a farm, the size of a normal allotment, but with a professional grower looking after it.

Each member (household) pays an annual fee (this year 450€) plus a joining fee, and the harvest from the field will be distributed weekly amongst members, throughout the harvest season. Vegetables are transported into the city, where members can pick up their shares from one of the four different distribution locations.

This year the co-op is taking new members for 2015 season. The first harvest is just around the corner, so be quick to check the registration form here

The biodynamic field is situated in Korso, about 30 km outside Helsinki. On ca. 3 hectares there are 40 different vegetables and herbs growing. Corn, fava bean, kale, potato, spinach, mangold, leek, broccoli, turnip, swede, parsnip, fennel, dill. Just to name a few.

All co-op members are of course more than welcome to volunteer to work in the field, anytime they wish. 10 hours of work per membership is required. However, you can also buy yourself out.

Thank god, otherwise there might be many dead carrots after my shift.

Read more (in Finnish) about Herttoniemi Food Co-op here.

In co-operation with Herttoniemi Food Co-operative



We have a tiny little garden in our backyard and I also have a personal gardener, my husband. Last year he had a free spot and asked me what I'd like to see there grow. I knew my answer right away. Rhubarb. Simply the best.

I was watching the tiny greens pop up from the ground and watched the stalks grow. When I was about to start making a pie crust for the first ever rhubarb pie from my own garden, the personal gardener just went "No no no. You cant harvest rhubarb during the first growing season. Need to wait until next year." The greatest hoax on Earth.

But like every year, after summer the autumn went by, winter gladly too and suddenly spring arrived again and my rhubarbs started to push their way up into the air, and to my arms.

The first harvest transformed into juice and jam, next one will be the freaking pie, finally.


500g rhubarb (ca. 1 l)
20g ginger
3 tbsp lime juice
1 lime peel
200g cane sugar
1,5 l water
  1. Cut rhubarb stalks in smaller pieces. Peel and cut ginger in chunks.
  2. Mix all ingredients together except the water.
  3. Bring water to boil and then pour it over the rhubarb sugar mix.
  4. Mix until sugar dissolves, cover and leave in room temperature overnight.
  5. Strain the juice and bottle it. Store in fridge.

And since food loss is not our thang, I quickly cooked a jar of rhubarb ginger jam of the strained leftovers.


Strained rhubarb leftovers
0,75 dl sugar

  1. Remove the ginger chunks and put the soft rhubarb leftovers in a saucepan.
  2. Add sugar and cook for ca. 10 minutes, until it thickens.
  3. Pour the jam into a sterilized jar, close the lid and cool down.



Some might call me a bit biased when it comes to saying something about The Cock, since I’ve had my teeny tiny part in the project. But can’t help it. I just love The Cock.

I love the from early morning 'til late evening opening hours. I love the big selection of very moderately priced wines. I love granola, croque monsieurs, whole rotisserie chickens, pasta vongole and dessert tables. I love that you can go there alone, twosome, with kids or with a big party party.

The only thing I find terribly wrong, is that I don't live in the neighbourhood anymore. Actually I haven't done that in 10 years, but now it bugs me. All good with the life in the bedroom suburb, but still dreaming of starting the morning with early breakfast at the corner eatery, or ending up the day with a late evening snack there. Just like in the big world, you know.

Ville Relander (previous food strategist for the city of Helsinki) & Richard McCormick (the mastermind behind i.a. the two Sandros), have done a great job. They've had a shared vision of a restaurant they'd like to open up one day and now they've carried it out.

Neighbourhood eatery and bar. That's the short definition for The Cock. Really laid-back and relaxed, with super high quality easygoing food and a truly merited team leading the kitchen.

In the bright and lively upstairs (ground floor that is) they have breakfast & lunch served, bar open all day, food until 23.30 daily. As for downstairs, vibe changes when you go down the spiral stairs, but not loosing a bit of the easiness. In the basement it gets darker and makes a perfect surrounding for dining or having a glass of wine from the organic wine bar opening towards the end of the week.

What comes to food, when not eating alone, I strongly suggest to share. Just to get to taste more than few things from the menu.

And do go with the kids too. On the first visit my daughter wrote on the Barbapapa coloring picture "Best Cock!" since she had just learned it in her English club.

I mean not the cock word but the best.

Fabianinkatu 17



Last year, on March 23rd, Helsinki went mad about street food. The sky was cloudless, people dusted off their shades after the dark winter and 20000 of us went out to the street to eat. That was the day of Streat Helsinki EATS. 

The first Streat Helsinki was a true pioneer and lead the way for the trendy street food to finally hit Finland, big time. Before that, there probably wasn't even a Finnish word for a food truck.

Next week it'll happen again.

Photos: Andrew Taylor / Streat Helsinki

Photo: Maija Astikainen / Streat Helsinki

Photo: Maarit Kytöharju / Streat Helsinki

EATS 21.-22.3.
This year's main event, again, will be EATS around Tori Quarters area. But this time there'll be more space, longer opening hours and even wider range of dishes from various food entrepreneurs.
(Among many others, I'll surely check the menus from Berlin's two food trucks and last year's conference speaker Pernilla Elmqvist's Nordic Street Food from Malmö. And of course from many of those local ones, like Hoshito & Skibibi Bros.)

WORKSHOPS 16.-20.3.
During the whole week various workshops take place in Teurastamo. All workshops are free of charge, but you still need to sign up for them. Check out the topics here and enroll, if you haven't done that yet.
(I'm gonna be listening to Markthalle Neun's Street Food Thursday organizer Kavita Meelu about Berlin street food scene, last year's conference speaker Geetika Agrawal's talk about the future of street food from the San Francisco point of view and also the Madventure man Riku Rantala's thoughts on the future protein in our street food, bugs.)

A small Streat Helsinki kick off tour has taken few food trucks to faraway places. To the suburbs. Kontula, Malmi & Vuosaari they've already done. Tomorrow, Sat 14.3. you might still catch them in Lauttasaari.

Photos: Eetu Ahanen / Streat Helsinki

If someone claims, there has never been street food in Helsinki before Streat Helsinki, they're terribly wrong. "Snägäri" is the place to be 4am, hungry, right after crossing the fine line of being just tipsy. And getting something greasy and salty to make it to the next morning.
Streat Helsinki pimped five of these old school grill kiosks together with three mentor chefs, to work together on how maybe to renew the most traditional form of Helsinki street food. The end results can be tasted on 19.3.

Soon tba.

Photos: Andrew Taylor / Streat Helsinki

Photo: Eetu Ahanen / Streat Helsinki

Start dieting. Soon you'll eat well. For more info go to streathelsinki.com.