Barley ricotta bread with smoked trout


Icelandic-Italian fusion. Tastes that remind of late summer and autumn. Birch smoked Icelandic trout, barley bread with freshly milled organic barley from Móðir Jörð, Vallanes, Iceland, pomegranate seeds from the amazing autumn fruit, pomegranate, freshly picked in Puglia, sheep ricotta cheese from Staffolo, Marche, a dash of orange Sicilian orange blossom honey and a couple of free range eggs. These fabulous ingredients come together in this “smörrebröd” open sandwich suggestion. The scrambled eggs match heavenly with the trout and the pomegranate gives a great acidity contrast to its slight fattiness. Autumn really tastes good, and this toast is in theme with its beautiful colors as well.

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Grilled bacon wrapped salmon with lemon pepper and lemon slices

This is one of my favorite summer dishes to be barbecued if possible, but great in oven too. I accompany to this dish the memory of impetuous Icelandic salmon rivers, and the incredibly fresh odor of the bright summer night accompanied by the fatty and slightly smoky perfume from the barbecue. The contrast between the fatness of the salmon and bacon to the zesty freshness of the lemon pepper and fresh lemon, make your taste buds very happy. Then we exalt the flavors by adding a drip of extra virgin olive oil. I post this recipe with mixed feelings though, because unfortunately the wild salmon stock is suffering a great deal because of intensive salmon farming, the Nordic one in phase of distinction actually. I am for eating “O kilometres” and local as much as possible, so if you have the possibility of a local sustainable choice for making this recipe, it is a great fish, and eating it in a conscious way, once in a while, reminds us of the important fact to take care of our eco system. Click HERE to sign the petition of amotistraumnum, an invitation to the government of Iceland to create a policy establishing a sustainable fish farming industry that exists in harmony with nature.

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Sea of chocolate & raspberries

One of my strongest and sweetest food memories are connected to the roasting pan cakes my grandmother used to make. We’re talking about a single-layer chocolate cake baked in a roasting pan and covered with chocolate glaze. She used to sprinkle ground coconut over the whole thing, and that is the Icelandic tradition.
This is my version of the cake, that I always saw as a kind of a “sea of chocolate” being so immense and endless…… until the last slice disappeared accompanied by a glass of cold milk.

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Fig & pancetta skewers

These fabulous barbecue skewers, always remind me of Icelandic bright summer nights barbecue parties. When the short summer announces its arrival in Iceland, the fresh summer air mingles with the sweet smell of barbecue from backyards all over the country. Precious moments, conviviality under the caressing rays of the midnight sun.

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Growing Miracles in Iceland

When thinking of Iceland, the first connections one makes (at least that is my general experience when nominating my beautiful island of origin), are usually volcanoes, snow and waterfalls. Then often follows the question: “And what do people eat in Iceland”. I find that a great question to answer, because Iceland is rich of all kinds of ingredients that may come as a big surprise. One of the Iceland’s growing miracles, are the products of Móðir Jörð, originated in Vallanes, an organic farm in East Iceland.

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Elements of Iceland

Icelandic, strong, tolerant people, shaped by the elements of nature. A nation that has oriented itself to be able to live in the legendary “Ultima Thule” – land of northern elephants and divinities. Living there without being overwhelmed by it and renouncing its natural supremacy. People, used to dealing with the surreal glows of the skies inflamed by the Northern lights (aurora borealis), floods, sandstorms, volcanoes, earthquakes; with a mighty Nature, mistress.

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Pansy Margarita cocktail

This flowery and zesty cocktail, was invented by my dear friend, Pálína Jónsdóttir, actress, director and great chef. She runs with her family the rural resort, Lónkot in Skagafjörður, Iceland, that in april 2019 received the prestigious Travel & hospitality Award for Best House & Restaurant of the year 2019.
I still remember the bright summer evening when we cheered in this beautifully lightly pink cocktail, smelling of Icelandic summer, the ice giving you the right amount of shiver in midst of the wild flowery scent, just like the one you feel even on the warmest Icelandic summer nights.

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Shrimp balls with potatoes & garlic

Potatoes & shrimps are fabulous ingredients, but not so often maybe seen together. They remind me of my origins, as in Iceland grow the most incredible and delicious potatoes, and the coldwater shrimps  (Pandalus borealis) of our sea are renowned delicatessen to be found in supermarkets all over the world. I tend to use local ingredients in my cooking, but when making these I go for the borealis shrimps and dream of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).

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