When Gunnar Karl Gislason opened Restaurant Dill in 2009, he wanted to focus on celebrating Iceland’s traditional cuisine, but doing it in a contemporary way, using artisinal producers and only the very best ingredients from around Iceland. North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland by Gislason and Jody Eddy is more than just a cookbook. In addition to Gislason’s recipes, it also has stories about Iceland and interviews with the suppliers of ingredients for Gislason’s Restaurant Dill. The interviews and recipes are divided into sections based on Gislason’s suppliers: The Bacalao Producer (Salted Cod Chips with Pickled Angelica Cream), The Arctic Char Smoker (Parsnips Three Ways with Arctic Char Roe), The Rugbraud Baker (Buttermilk Espuma, Pickled and Charred Cucumbers, and Hay-Smoked Rye Bread Powder), The Fisherman (Tea-Poached Skate, Braised Kale, Shallot Puree, and Skyr), The Seabird Egg Collector (Cauliflower, Seabird Eggs, and Burned Butter), The Barley Farmer (Skyr, Fennel Sorbet, and Roasted Barley), The Dairy Farmer (Custard with Blueberries and Cinnamon Sugar), The Birch and Mushroom Forager (Whey-Glazed Pork Belly, Caramelized Parsnip Puree, and Herb Emulsion), The Sheep Farmer (Smoked Lamb with Skyr and Nutmeg), The Hardfiskur Producer (Tea-Crusted Catfish, Braised Root Vegetables, Barley, and Lovage Oil), The Salt Maker (Sea Salt), The Goat Farmer (Whey Caramel, Buttermilk, and Horseradish), and The Blue Mussel and Dulse Harvester (Seaweed Butter).
I decided to try the Skyr, Blueberries, and Cream. Skyr is a creamy cheese similar to Greek yogurt that is a staple in the Icelandic diet. Although there is a recipe for skyr in the book, I was a little short on time so I substituted in Greek yogurt. This recipe is very simple (especially compared to the other recipes in the book) but it seemed like an easy way to try Nordic cuisine, and it can be served for breakfast or dessert. This was a simple treat to make and it was pretty good. Next time I will make my own skyr.
2/3 cup blueberries
superfine sugar, for sweetening
1 1/2 cups skyr
3/4 cup heavy cream
In a bowl, sprinkle the blueberries with sugar and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes to soften and sweeten the berries.
To serve, spoon the skyr into a bowl, spoon the berries over the skyr, and drizzle with a little cream.
North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland is a beautiful book through and through, even down to the book jacket, which covers the bottom ¾ of the cover and contains scenic pictures of Iceland on the reverse side. There are plenty of beautiful pictures of Iceland, its people, and the food. Oh, the food. The majority of the recipes are very complex and I can’t see myself making most of them in my kitchen, but they do sound incredible. It’s almost enough to make me visit Iceland just to eat at Restaurant Dill. Luckily, a few simpler recipes are included so I can still get a taste of Nordic cuisine without jumping on an airplane or going through culinary school first.
4.5 out of 5.
I received a copy of North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.