Many traditional meals in Iceland revolve around the abundance of fresh fish. Þorrablót, a popular sampler dish, includes a selection of traditionally cured meat and fish products served with rúgbrauð, a dense bread. This recipe, courtesy of Woman & Home, presents a delicious way to cure salmon with vodka.


1 pound and 2 ounces - 1 pound and 5 ounces of salmon, boned, with skin left on
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
1½ tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Reyka vodka
½ lemon zest
5 ounces raw beetroot, peeled and grated (wear gloves)
3 tablespoons grated horseradish
2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Remove any pin bones from the salmon with fish tweezers. Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap and place the fish on it, skin-side down.

Roughly grind the coriander seeds, fennel seeds and peppercorns in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar (but not too fine, as you want the spices to have some texture). Combine with the salt, sugar, vodka, lemon zest and beetroot, then add the grated horseradish and parsley. Spread the mixture over the salmon and press down. Wrap the plastic wrap around and over the top of the fillet. Place another baking sheet on top and weigh it down with jars or cans. Leave in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours (the longer you leave it, the better the color).

Unwrap the fish and scrape off the marinade. Rinse under cold running water to get rid of the salt and grains, then pat dry with kitchen paper. The salmon will freeze very well at this point. It will keep for 5 days in the fridge. If frozen, just thaw overnight in the fridge.

Cucumber salad

1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and ribboned
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoons caster sugar
3 sprigs dill, roughly chopped

Sprinkle the cucumber with 1 teaspoon salt and leave to sit in a sieve over a sink for 10 minutes (this will help to draw out the water). Squeeze dry, then dress with the vinegar, sugar, salt and dill, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Serve with finely sliced pieces of salmon.