New Nordic cuisine has been enjoying a much-lauded time in the spotlight as of late. No longer maligned for being overcooked, lackluster and staid, Nordic food has returned to its heart and is focusing on elements that are simple, seasonal and full of flavor. Herbed fish and meats simply prepared, earthy vegetables, heavily seeded, grainy breads and beautifully produced cheeses are its hallmarks—hallmarks that are more than deserving of a place on your Easter table.
Easter in Scandinavia is much like Easter in other parts of the Northern Hemisphere. A harbinger of spring, a welcome change in the weather and a delightful time to indulge in tradition. Eggs, fish and lamb are prominently featured on menus across the region, as well as side dishes heavy with root vegetables. Cardamom and cinnamon scented buns, almond pastries and marzipan cream cakes are just a sampling of the mouthwatering sweets commonly found on a Scandinavian dessert table.
Here are three of my favorite recipes that are quite emblematic of Scandinavian food during Easter:
Juniper and Spiced Lamb Chops with a Root Vegetable Puree and a Gjetost Sauce is a deliciously simple dish that highlights flavors specific to Norway. Gjetost cheese, for the uninitiated, is a sweet, caramel-like cheese made exclusively in Norway from goat’s milk whey. Usually served with crisp bread or lefse, it is rather uncommon to see in a main course, but here it shines and provides a wonderful sweet and savory element to the dish.
Small almond tarts are deliciously flaky and an easy dessert that takes little time to prepare—simply press your sweet dough into small tart tins, fill with a delicious almond filling and top with fresh berries.
Västerbotten Cheese Pie is a dish that is most famously consumed during the summer months in Sweden, particularly in August at widely celebrated crayfish parties. Here it morphs perfectly into Easter food with the addition of crisp tender asparagus and lightly caramelized shallots. Västerbotten, along with the Gjetost, is available at many grocery stores and online retailers.
Author Maria Nelson is the multi-talented blogger behind Pink Patisserie. Drawing inspiration from her Scandinavian Grandmothers, Maria shares beautiful recipes featuring fresh, abundant and seasonally available ingredients.