Lamb sweetbreads and chard

A recipe by Magnus Nilsson, taken from Faviken

This dish consists of a delicate, milky, super-fresh lamb’s sweetbread, fried very lightly in a non-stick frying pan or skillet. It is finished with the lightest brushing of mild thyme butter as its only flavouring and placed on a raw leaf of just-picked chard to lift it up with, like a little edible casing around a sausage. It is dipped in a very light juice or sauce made from the same plant, just slightly thicker than a pure juice and almost raw in flavour.

Serves 6


6 very fresh lambs’ sweetbreads

a bunch of very good-quality chard, with the full length of the stalk still attached to the leaf

soft butter, for brushing

200g flavourless cooking oil

thyme butter



Take the sweetbreads out of the fridge at least 1 hour before cooking them, and remove any membranes or blood vessels that look unappetizing. Salt them very lightly, allowing the salt to dissolve on the surface.

Reserve 6 perfect chard leaves for later and keep them at room temperature under a damp cloth.

Prepare an aromatic oil using about three handfuls of chard leaves.

Brush a cold non-stick frying pan or skillet very lightly with butter, place the sweetbreads in it and place over maximum heat on the stove. When lightly amber in colour, turn them and fry the other side, then brush liberally with thyme butter. Transfer somewhere warm but not hot to rest.

Bring 250g water to a boil. Meanwhile take the Thermomix used previously to make the oil and fill it to the brim with more chard. Pour 2 tablespoons of the chard oil into the beaker of the Thermomix, add a little salt and pour the boiling water over the green leaves, then mix on maximum speed for about 1 minute. During this time the small amount of oil will emulsify, making the result a little pastel in colour and giving the chard a rounder feel in the mouth. The chard that had the hot water poured over it will cook, while the leaves farther down will be mixed in raw.

Push the chard mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Most of the pulp should stay in the sieve and the result should be an emerald green liquid slightly thicker than water. Pour some of this liquid into a hot bowl with a brim, add a spoonful of oil, place a fresh chard leaf on the brim and place a sweetbread on the leaf.



Fäviken is an exclusive insight into one of the world's most interesting restaurants: Fäviken Magasinet in Sweden. Narrative texts, photographs and recipes explain head chef Magnus Nilsson's remarkable approach to sourcing and cooking with ingredients that are farmed and hunted in the immediate vicinity of the restaurant, and how he creates a seasonal cycle of menus based on them.

Even though not everyone can visit Fäviken, Nilsson’s approach to working with ingredients in the most natural, intuitive way possible, and making the most of each season, will inspire all cooks and food-lovers to think differently about the ingredients that are available to them.

Many of the basic recipes for yoghurt, bread, porridge, vinegar, pickles and preserves are simple and straightforward enough for anyone to attempt at home, and the advice on natural preservation methods can be followed by anyone.

The text in Fäviken will provide inspiration for chefs and food-lovers all over the world and are fully accessible to the general reader.