When first potatoes of the season arrive at Finnish grocery stores in June or July, people rush to find the most velvety potatoes that have skin so thin that no peeling is needed. Then when these Finns arrive at home they will most likely prepare a traditional dish of new potatoes with pickled herring, dill, spring onion and crème fraîche, and everyone at the table goes “awwww, aren’t the new potatoes just delicious”!
Yes, this is a sign of summer and happiness in Finland (at least in my childhood memories)!
Today I made this dish in Paris and it tasted as good as it would have back at home. The Bastille Market is great for almost anything and I easily found the type of potatoes I needed. As for the rest, I had anticipated the herring craving during my last IKEA visit and the rest of the ingredients never require any particular effort.
- Buy small potatoes that have almost no skin, or skin that comes off with simple brushing. Boil them with fresh dill and butter. Tip: wrap them in aluminium foil to keep them hot!
- Serve pickled herrings in a bowl. We had herring in mustard sauce, but any specialized shop (even IKEA) has a variety of options (herring with dill, onion, pepper, etc.). Choose whichever flavor appeals to you most and serve this northern European delicacy in a bowl.
- Cut spring onions (both the bulbs and the greens) and serve them raw in a bowl.
- Cut fresh dill and serve in a small bowl.
- Put crème fraîche in a bowl.
- Have butter on a plate so that everyone can add it on his/her hot potatoes.
The only ingredient that needs to be cooked (and served hot) is potatoes. The rest should be served cold or room temperature, and in separate bowls. Eating this dish is a lot of fun (a bit like raclette dish in fact!) because everyone composes his/her own plate. Try yourself and let me know!