Niçoise Salad

Niçoise salad is one of those whole meal salads that speak of summer. As can be understood from the name, its origin is the city Nice. There exist quite a few variants of the recipe. This is a “light” version I like very much. Light because I omit both boiled potatoes and green beans often present in the salad. Sometimes for extra indulgence I throw in a couple of mozzarella “bocconcini”, that aren’t exactly what comes to mind thinking of “light”, in matter of calories, but I love the white, soft texture and freshness they add to the whole. This salad is extremely rich and colorful, the perfect summer dish, with a glass of Provençale rosé, reflecting the warm and generous flavors of the South of France.

 

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Refreshing taziki dip

This refreshing originally Greek Taziki dip associated with Greek food, is to be found served in various places across the Mediterranean and Middle east with slight variations. F.ex. the Egyptian version doesn’t include cucumbers. This is a quite classic version. In summer it is an absolute MUST in my diet, and I even have it for breakfast….without the garlic in that case.

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EVOO Extra virgin olive oil – the real taste of Life

Extra virgin olive oil, Evo oil, is a worthy of consideration. I have nurtured love for this precious condiment for a long time, that has been growing gradually over the many years living in Italy.
This spring I decided that I wanted to get to know it more deeply. When there is a person or a place that you are particularly fond of,  you would like to get to know it more closely, and understand who that person or place is, all its peculiarities and characteristics.
I chose a course on the Italian Levante Riviera, at Recco, organized by L‘Associazione Italiana Sommelier dell’Olio

 

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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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Zesty ciambella with extra virgin olive oil inside & out

Ciambella is such a beautiful word and comforting in a way. The second part of the word “bella” means “beautiful” in Italian, so there’s one reason for the word’s expression for something good. Pronouncing “Ciam“, adds gladness and saliva to your palate in advance. It reminds of the sound of “yum“, meaning something that tastes or looks delicious. This bundt cake, ciambella, or better ciambellone, because of the size of it, is very light (despite the size of it), and extremely fragrant and zesty. An important factor for its lightness is given to the presence of extra virgin olive oil and zest in the dough. Then we exalt the zestiness, almonds as well as the mild olive oil in the dough with a second oil, a fruity Sicilian one.

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Pancakes with strawberries & maple syrup topping

Pancakes are one of my favorite things, and one day I think I will write a short story, or a “love poem” recalling all the “pancake” moments of my life. Or a song. In whatever circumstance they add joy, comfort, an intoxicating perfume, and then you have a world of choices for the fillings.
This recipe comes from my mother’s cookbook, “Hratt og bítandi” (2000, Ormstunga editor).
I added some baking powder and vanilla extract, that is typically put in pancakes in Iceland and fry them a little differently.

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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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Tagliatelle with goat cheese flakes and pepper

This is a version of the classic pasta dish cacio e pepe where pecorino romano sheep cheese generally plays the cheese role.
Here we have a version from chef Lele Emmanuele, chef of La Loggia restaurant in Acqui Terme, with flakes of the unique Piedmont goat cheese Robiola di Roccaverano. The pasta is fresh tagliatelle without eggs. The classical fresh pasta base, that is so easy to make, but very rewarding.

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