Lagom is the Swedish word for ‘just the right amount, sufficient, adequate, just right', and sometimes ‘in moderation' and ‘in balance'.
Lagom, authored by Stockholm-born Steffi Knowles-Dellner, who is now living in London as a food blogger and tutor of Nordic cooking classes, fulfils all my expectations of Swedish and Scandinavian cuisine, containing recipes for soothing porridges, open sandwiches, plenty of fish and full use of the less ‘sexy' grains and vegetables, like pearl barley and parsnips.
The book is categorised by breakfast, lunches and light bites, main meals, desserts, baking and ‘bits and bobs', and the recipes balance the traditional home comfort recipes of Knowles-Dellner's childhood with the global influences and healthier evolution of Swedish cooking.
Sweden has accepted more refugees per capita than any other European country, which has resulted in a melting pot of cuisines and influences, including the surprising popularity of tacos, for which Knowles-Dellner has her own ‘Scandi' twist. The book also offers recipes such as a creamy gazpacho made with cucumber and dill, and ‘Scandi' fish and chips with fried herring and crispy shallots.
Of course, there are dumplings and meatballs, and beetroot and dill play their roles, but to imagine that the dishes you find in Ikea are all the Swedes eat is like saying every Brit eats a full English for breakfast and a shepherd's pie for dinner.
The recipes wouldn't prove challenging for a professional, but for any chef looking to introduce some Scandi style to their menu - or even just to learn a lesson or two in how our northern cousins take such gorgeous Instagram shots - Lagom would be a lovely page-turner.
If you like this, you may enjoy these
Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine by René Redzepi
The Scandi Kitchen by Bronte Aurell
The Nordic Cookbook by Magnus Nilsson
Lagom: The Swedish Art of Eating Harmoniously (£20, Quadrille)