Posted December 4, 2017

Northern Lights: Fresh Nordic-Inspired Recipes

Eat + Drink

Delicately smoked fish, vibrant beets, hints of caraway and mustard, and refreshing bursts of dill and rosemary all help bring Nordic flavors down to other latitudes. With a clean, refined palate, and a commitment to seasonal ingredients, these ingredients and techniques will be adding a new dimension to menus and cocktail options. Here are a few ways to enjoy Nordic cuisine at home.

Beet-Cured Salmon 
From Outlier — Seattle, WA

Cured fish is quintessential Nordic-inspired cuisine (Photo credit: Aubrie Pick)


  • 1 Salmon fillets, skin on
  • 3 Beets, grated
  • 2 Lemons, zested
  • 2 c. Salt
  • 2 c. Sugar
  • 2 bunches of dill
  • 3 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 2 tbsp. yellow mustard seeds


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. In a perforated pan, lay down a layer of cheesecloth.  Place half of the cure mix on top of the cheese cloth.  Lay the other half of the cure mix on top of the salmon fillet.  Wrap with the cheesecloth.  Place a pan underneath the perforated pan to catch the juices.  Cure for 2- 3 days.
  3. When cured to desired texture, unwrap and rinse off the cure mix.  Slice thin.
  4. To serve, spread some dill cream cheese on plate (recipe below). Arrange some of the salmon by folding it over itself gently. Arrange some slices of cucumber and fennel. Garnish with pickled mustard seeds (recipe below). Finish the plate with dill sprigs.

To make the Dill Cream Cheese: Juice 2 bunches dill. Mix with 1 cup cream cheese.

To make the Pickled Mustard Seeds:

  • 1/2 c. Yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 c. Rice vinegar
  • 1/8 c. Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Salt

Blanch the mustard seeds 3x in hot boiling water.  Rinse very well between each blanching. Heat the vinegar to boiling, add the salt and sugar.  Cover the mustard seeds and let sit overnight or up to 4 weeks.


Smoked Trout and Olive Deviled Eggs
From Finch + Fork — Santa Barbara, CA (courtesy Executive Chef James Siao)

Deviled eggs get a Nordic twist with smoked trout, picked shallots and an olive relish


  • 12 Hard boiled eggs
  • 1/3 c. Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. Whole grain mustard
  • 3 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. + 2 tbsp. Chives, finely chopped, in two parts
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 6 oz. Smoked trout (or other smoked fish)
  • 4 tbsp. Olive relish (Castelventrano and Kalamata olives chopped and blended with lemon zest and olive oil
  • 4 tbsp. Pickled shallots (recipe below)


  1. Shell hard boiled eggs and soak in beet brine (recipe below) for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Cut in half and separate yolks.
  3. Whisk yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, Tabasco, Worcestershire and 2 tsp. chopped chives in a bowl until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place yolk mixture into a piping bag and fill each egg white half to the top.
  5. Top each egg with a little olive relish, pieces of smoked trout, a couple pickled shallot rings and the remaining chopped chives.

For the Beet Brine:

  • 2 c. Champagne vinegar
  • 1 c. Sugar
  • 2 c. Water
  • 1 large Red beet, sliced
  • 1 tsp. Black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. Coriander seeds

Place all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil. Take off the heat and cool before using to brine eggs.

For the Pickled Shallots:

  • 6 Large shallots, peeled
  • 1 c. Distilled vinegar
  • ¼ c. Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Salt
  • ½ tbsp. Mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. Whole coriander
  • 1 tsp. Black peppercorn

Slice shallots into thin rings and place in medium bowl. In a small pot, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, coriander and peppercorns and bring to a boil until the sugar is dissolved. Then pour over shallots and place a plate on top to submerge them and let cool to room temperature. When cool, refrigerate a few hours or overnight covered with plastic wrap or in a sealed container.


Aurora Kiruna
From Vol. 39 — Chicago, IL

Aquavit is a Scandinavian spirit that has been produced since the 15th century (Photo credit: Lorenzo Tassone )


  • 1 1/2 oz. Brennivin cask aged aquavit
  • 1/2 oz. Absolut Elyx
  • 3/4 oz. Cranberry syrup
  • 1/2 oz. Lemon juice
  • Sprigs of Candied rosemary, for garnish


Pour all ingredients into a shaker. Shake and double strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a sprig of candied rosemary (or substitute regular rosemary).