Iceland is high on the list for travellers looking for adventure and wilderness, but now this isle is attracting a new breed of Epicurious visitor. Visitors that have their sights set on a gourmet experience with a difference.
Iceland's chefs, organic food producers, farmers and restaurant owners are enjoying a huge surge of interest in their culinary culture. With a focus on seasonal, fresh, and home-grown ingredients, Iceland's gastronomic heritage has classic Icelandic dishes evolving into fresh contemporary menus.
Throughout the year, meats, fish, vegetables and fruit are preserved in readiness for the freezing nights ahead. Curing, salting, pickling and brining are all traditional methods used in the Icelandic kitchen to conserve produce and keep it at its best for long periods of time. These age-old techniques are still used today and some of Iceland’s delicacies have been created using classic cooking methods.
One chef leading the way on this culinary journey is Karl Jóhann Unnarsson, Head Chef at Hotel Rangá. Creating seasonal dishes that reflect the Modern Nordic philosophy.
“Within our menus we use the freshest seasonal ingredients, yet we prepare these in interesting ways using modern techniques and cooking methods. We like to combine contrasting ingredients that speak for themselves and then present these in simple, yet well-executed forms. For example, our menu features cured salmon with trout roe and dill oil, smoked puffin with beer bread and pickled beetroot, cured goose with Icelandic Cheddar cheese and wild lamb with mushroom puree and redcurrant glaze. All of these have classic Icelandic roots yet are prepared and presented in a fresh and contemporary Modern Nordic style”.
Cured Salmon with trout roe and dill
Recipe by Karl Jóhann Unnarsson, Head Chef Hotel Rangá
• 1 fillet of salmon
• 150g salt
• 150g sugar
• 1 lemon
Trout Roe ingredients:
• 100g trout roe
• ¼ of fresh fennel bulb
• 1 small shallot onion
• 100ml dill oil
1. Cut the fennel and the onion finely and
place in a small bowl
2. Mix the dill oil and the fresh trout roe in a bowl with the fennel and onion
1. Clean the Salmon fillet
2. Put the sugar and salt into a bowl
3. Add the zest of the lemon to the sugar and salt and mix
4. Put the salmon on a tray and pour the mix over it
5. Allow the salmon to cure for 35 minutes in the refrigerator.
6. Wash the salt and sugar mix off the salmon and dry
7. Cut the salmon into pieces
8. Take a blowtorch and lightly burn the top of each piece
Dill Oil ingredients:
• 500ml olive oil
• 100g dill
1. Take the dill and put it into a blender with the oil
2. Put on a slow spin setting initially
3. Then put it on full power for 15 minutes until it becomes darker green
4. When the liquid is a rich dark green pass through a sieve
To serve, plate up the ingredients delicately
Where to sample seasonal cuisine in Iceland:
Hotel Rangá is the only 4 star resort in South Iceland and offers luxury accommodation, gourmet food and outstanding views. It boasts all the facilities and services of a modern resort yet is situated in an area of exceptional natural beauty. Located about an hour from Reykjavík between the towns of Hella and Hvolsvöllur, Hotel Rangá lies just off the main road right in middle of South Iceland’s panoramic scenery.