From the Land

From the Land

By
Simon Bajada
Contains
12 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781742708799
Photographer
Simon Bajada

Rocky soil and dense forest have made grazing land a scarce resource in Nordic countries. In fact, a large chunk of the population emigrated to the Americas for this very reason. That said, the majority of the meat that is produced is of the highest quality and demand is strong. Lamb and beef come with a bit of a hefty price tag, but pork, easily the most consumed meat, is more affordable.

Rather than meat being the central ingredient around which all others revolve, it is the whole grains and cold-climate vegetables that are attracting the attention of contemporary chefs; meat is assuming a more supportive role. This willingness to explore innovative ways of working with ingredients is what I love the most about new Nordic cuisine. And nowhere, perhaps, is this better expressed, than in the clever and unusual use of vegetables. In this way, the land – both the animals that live on it and the plants that grow in it – are celebrated at the new Nordic table.

A note worth making before we get into the recipes is that Nordic countries have an unexpected and mildly perplexing infatuation with hot dogs! They are the most common snack food across the entire region. Roadside stands are everywhere. Classic toppings include tomato sauce (ketchup), mustard and fried shallots, but there are also some more surprising ones to try, such as prawn (shrimp) and mayonnaise salad, and Boston gurka, an incredibly sweet mix of finely chopped gherkins and raw onion. And in regional Finland, forget the bread: it’s just a fat smoked pork sausage served with some paper wrapped around and as much sweet mustard as you can handle.

The chapter ahead introduces us to some more modern vegetable and meat dishes using traditional Nordic ingredients.

Featured Recipes in this Chapter

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