Little Gem Lettuce – grilled






This lettuce is called Hjertesalat in Norwegian and I believe it is the same lettuce as Little Gem Lettuce in England.  Norway produces Hjertesalat from May to October, it is probably in the peak season, I see many fresh Hjertesalat in my store.

If you cut it like this, halved lengthwise, it looks like more Chinese cabbage than lettuce, the leaves are upright. And this lettuce is different from ordinary lettuce as it is super heat-torelant.

So we grill this lettuce on a very very hot grill pan.




The secret is this hot hot grill pan and you cook Little Gem Lettuce very quickly.
I just added some Kosher salt.  No oil, no other spices, no nothing.
I think I want the water in the Little Gem Lettuce to boil quickly, so adding any other liquid will only prolong the process. Sometimes the most simple way is the best.




Served on the side of Spicy Grilled Chicken.
You can add Balsamic vinegar or Walnuts oil or good Olive oil on the lettuce right before you serve.

Simple, but very good.




Gobo, Burdock Root, Salsifis


We are lucky to have this vegetable in Norway, it is called Gobo (牛蒡)in Japanese and Storborre or Storborrerot in Norwegian. I think it is called Burdock Root in English and Salsifis in French. If I am making a mistake here, please let me know, I will correct it!!

I buy Gobo at Mega Coop in Bekkestua, this is my little shopping tips for you who live in Oslo 🙂 but I am sure there are other stores in town who sell it.  It is kind of a super mysterious vegetable for many Norwegian, they once told me that it is nothing but a weed and they could not think of it as a food they eat.

In Japan we eat Gobo all year around. It may not look so elegant,




but it is a healthy vegetable!

The biggest difference between Japanese Gobo and the one I get here is the fragrance.
Japanese Gobo is a lot more fragrant and the skin part is much thinner. This is a root vegetable. When the soil and the climate is so different I think a lot of root vegetables are of its own charactor (except for carrot and onion).

I remove the skin part by scrubbing with a clean scourer. You can also use and scrape with the spine of your kitchen knife but be careful with the blade. Wash and clean it with water and you should cut it right away as it starts discoloration.

Prepare a big bowl of water and add 1/2 tea spoon of vinegar in it.
Whittle the Gobo and shave it like you sharpen a pencil



and soak the shaves into the bowl. After 4-5 minutes, the water has turned its color to brownish, you can take Gobo shaves out of the water and pat dry.


Heat a fry pan, add sesame oil and sautee with carrots and season.
– 200g Gobo
– 30g carrot
– Sugar 1 table spoon
– Mirin 1 table spoon
– Soy sauce 2 table spoons

Sprinkle some white sesame seeds before serving and here is a very typical Japanese dish called “Kinpira Gobo” 

It makes a good side dish in your bento as well.


Bon Appetit!
xxx Rie


Zucchini Bread


Zucchini is at its best season now in Norway and I love this vegetable very much. It is so lovery to see firm and well shaped zucchinis with shiny glossy skin on them! Zucchini has many names, it is also called as courgette or squash, a ripe type is called marrow in UK. Courgette is the french name for zucchini and in Norway I think it is called squash and zucchini. How is it called in your country?

While it is in its best season, why not make a loaf of delicious and healthy zucchini bread with nuts? This recipe I am writing today is the one I have had for a long long time and it is a proven and easy recipe for anyone, so I hope you will enjoy this healthy recipe. Although I say it is easy, I think the secret to make a successful zucchini bread lies in the accurate measuring and the mixing method.  All the dry ingredients should be mixed first while the fat ingredient and the wet ingredients are mixed together in a different bowl, and finally you can pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of the wet ingredients. It may sound so basic and so little important, I think this mixing method has so much to do with the successful outcome. However, please notice sugar is mixed in the wet ingredients, I think sugar’s crystalized particle is always good to mix with fat (butter for example) and water (egg or milk etc.) well together.

Zucchini Bread
for 1 baking pan of 2L in volume,
22cm x 13cm x 8cm

– the dry ingredients –

Flour  165g
Baking powder  2 tea spoons
Salt  1/2 tea spoon

– the wet ingredients –
Brown sugar   3 table spoons
Eggs     2
Lemon juice    3 table spoons
Vegetable oil   40g
Zucchini, shredded   1 cup
Walnuts, chopped     1/2 cup

Spray oil for the pan
Preparations :
1. Preheat your oven at 160℃. Roast the walnuts for 5 minutes at 160℃. Cool walnuts.
2. After the walnuts are roasted, increase the temperature and preheat your oven at 180℃.
3. Using a cutter, shred zucchini finely.
4. Grease the baking pan with cooking spray oil.

5. Mix the dry ingreidients. In a mixing bowl, shift the flour, baking powder and salt together.

6. Take the brown sugar on a plate and mix with a spoon to break any lump.


7. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl. Mix eggs and brown sugar togehter first, add lemon juice, mix well. Add 2/3 of oil and mix. Add shredded zucchini and the remaining 1/3 oil. Mix well. Add chopped nuts.


8. Shift and add the dry ingredients in the wet ingredients. Stir and blend, do not mix too much, just fold it gently.


9. Pour the batter in the prepared baking pan and bake it in the oven for 45-55 minutes. My oven bake this amount fine in 45 minutes but please adjust the baking time accordingly.

10. Take it out of the oven and place it to cool for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with something to drink.



Bon Appetite!
xxx Rie