I have long been a fan of Scandinavian food. I have been cooking it at home via chefs like Signe Johansen and Trinne Hahneman along with dreaming of the day I get to eat it in an actual restaurant, or better still, in the region.
You should see how fast I replied when the Norwegian Seafood Council invited me down to Aveqia to cook and eat Norwegian Salmon with Signe Johansen. I think my reply was something along the lines of empty belly, turn up, me. Heck yes.
Norway is a leader in sustainable fisheries management and also the world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon with over 1.1 million tonnes produced 2013, which is eaten in over 100 countries worldwide including here in the UK. The Norwegians tell us that Norwegian Seafood is the best and I was more than happy to go along and try it out.
We turned up to moresih canapés of Smoked salmon on crispbread with crème fraiche and pickled cucumber and baby smoked salmon roulades filled with a dill, lemon and horseradish cream cheese filling. It was great to catch up with friends from the food blogging scene over such delicious canapes.
Then we settled down to learn about Norwegian Salmon and cook along with Signe who gave us plenty of tips on cooking tips along the way. First up, we made our own Salmon smorrebord (open sandwich). We piled layers of smoked salmon, avocado and pickled cucumber finished with crème fraiche, fresh dill and horseradish unto some gorgeous sourdough. Heaven.
Then the main was a whole baked salmon stuffed with red onions and along with a kale, roast squash and pomegranate salad. Signe walked us through the very easy preparation before we settled down to eat one she made earlier. The salmon was absolutely and paired very beautifully with the refreshing flavour of the lemony pomegranate and kale salad. I just HAD to bring home a takeaway container full of this so that OH would try some as well. Obviously.
We ended with a deliciously cardamom spiced Fyrstekake (a Norwegian spiced tart) washed down with a heart stealing cherry glogg. Pity I did not have space for a second and third helping.
The great thing about this salmon is that preparation takes a whole 5 mins and it can be baked in advance and served cold. Same goes for the kale salad and the spiced Norwegian tart. So a great make ahead and lighter Christmas meal which means you have more time to spend catching up with with your guests, opening presents and drinking that tfab cherry glogg.
For more information on the Norwegian Seafood Council you can find them at their website – www.seafoodfromnorway.co.uk or Twitter @norwayseafood. Dear Santa, I think a hamper filled with Norwegian Seafood would make a great Christmas present. Please say hi to Signe @signesjohansen and make sure to put one of her three cookbooks on your Christmas wishlist.
- 1 whole Norwegian salmon approx. 2 kg, descaled, gutted and cleaned
- 75 g butter
- 2 small red onions thinly sliced
- 2 unwaxed lemons thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot thinly sliced
- A bunch of fresh parsley
- Herbamare sea salt with herbs
- Salt and pepper
- 2 butternut squashes peeled, deseeded, and choped
- 2 bunches of kale
- Seeds from 2 pomegranates
- Preheat the oven to fan assisted 130C / 150C / 300F /gas 2. You will need an oven large enough to place the butternut squash on one level and the salmon on another. Alternatively, you can choose to cook the butternut squash first and then follow this with the salmon if your oven has less capacity.
- You will need two long sheets of extra-strong aluminium foil a roasting tray. Butter both sheets to avoid the fish sticking. Place one sheet on top of the roasting tray and season with herbamare and pepper.
- Wipe the salmon dry and make three incisions into each side of the salmon. Stuff all six incisions with a piece of red onion, lemon, fresh parsley and carrot.
- Close the salmon and sprinkle with a little lemon juice to taste.
- Place the second sheet of foil on top of the salmon and crimp the edges inwards to create a parcel. Once sealed, place the salmon in the oven and roast for 1 ½ - 2 hours.
- For the butternut squash, kale and pomegranate salad. Place the buternut cubes in an uncovered tray and place in the oven. Allow 30 minutes for the squash to roast in the oven. Once the butternut squash is cooked, remove from oven.
- Finely chop the kale and add this to the pomegranate seeds. Toss together, cover and set aside until the salmon is ready to be served. Garnish the salad with the roasted butternut squash.
- Once the salmon is cooked and ready to serve, remove the top foil from the roasting tray and simply move a whole fish onto a presentation plate or board to place at the centre of the table.
- To serve, gently scrape off the skin (and assorted cooked vegetables from the incisions) and start portioning up the fish. Serve along with the salad and buttered new potatoes.
Recipe by Signe Johansen for the Norwegian Seafood Council.
Thanks to the Norwegian Seafood Council for the invite and for the photographs. All opinions are my own.