Here in the Arctic, the Summer season ends abruptly. The daylight hours and disappearing warmth from the sun begin to compress. Autumn weather often feels as if all seasons have come together for a lively debate before the land returns to a quiet snowy-slumber.
Lofoten is a dynamic region to visit no matter the time of year. At the moment, the mountains are swept with golden and russet Autumn colours; the peaks powder-dusted with the first snow. An invigorating icy chill in the air makes returning from a picturesque hike to a warm fire and plate of delicious local food without the jostle of summer-crowds a slow and nurturing pleasure.
For centuries, preserving during the Summer and Autumn season in the Nordics was about nutrition and survival. Today, here at Holmen we look to these ancient techniques to honour our diverse wild and locally cultivated produce. Offering unique flavours on our menus that represent place and provenance.
Along with a delicious eating experience, conserving fresh food is also about reducing waste. We consider the impact and responsibilities of our place in the majestic mountainous and marine environment and community with equal weight to the joy of sharing it with our guests.
From the most humble of ingredients such as carrots and foraged chanterelles from Polarhagen, kale, turnips, beetroot and duck eggs from Myklevik gård to wild black and red currants, lingonberries, rosehips, rowan berries, red and green gooseberries; cream cultured and churned to make butter, excess milk transformed to ricotta and whey together with a diverse range of plants from land and sea. Dehydrated, fermented, pickled, salt-cured, simmered with sugar and spice to make syrups and jams, nothing escapes our kitchen team’s considered thought.
In the ever quickening pace towards Christmas and our Julebord menu, our current Autumn menus offer a taste of our fresh and preserves larder such as:
Polarhagen Carrots – roasted, juniper & bay pickled, baked carrot custard with nigella, kale crisps, mustard thyme dressing
Myklevik gård dry-aged Duck confit, potato galette, fermented red gooseberries, leafy greens
Chanterelle & Ricotta Duck-egg Ravioli, fermented Shitake, Hazelnuts, Black garlic, cured duck egg yolk
Halibut, Tomato broth, Roasted tomato, Cavolo Nero, Tomato crisps, Seaweed salt, lovage oil, fresh dill
Black currant Sorbet, Buttermilk Sorbet, Ginger biscuit crumble, fermented blackberries
Holmen Sourdough, Cod’s Roe, Ferments, House-made butter
If you’re unable to visit or stay with us during this beautiful season, here’s a recipe for our Baked Carrot Custard from our kitchen to yours:
BAKED CARROT CUSTARD
6 large Organic carrots
1 tbsp vegetable oil
75 g butter
100 ml cream
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 180 c and line a small bread tin with baking paper.
2. Remove the tops from the carrots and reserve. They are delicious in a green sauce or cooked as you would other leafy green vegetables.
3. Scrub the carrots and cut into large pieces. Place on a baking tray and sprinkle with a little salt.
4. Roast for 25 minutes until tender.
5. Blend to a smooth puree together with the butter, cream, eggs, nutmeg and ½ tsp salt using a food processor, blender, Thermomix or stick blender.
6. Transfer to lined bread tin. Place the bread tin in a deep baking tray and half fill with boil water to create a water bath.
7. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes.
8. Remove from the water bath and allow to completely cool before slicing and serving with a salad or your choice of accompaniment.