Reykjavik (dpa / tmn) - The harsh climate does not allow much growth in Iceland. Nevertheless, the country in the far north has a culinary treasure: fresh fish, all year round - thanks to the Atlantic. "The bays and fjords are full of life," enthuses the top Icelandic chef Fridrik Sigurdsson.

The islanders make the best of the circumstances, with straightforward food that focuses on the essentials. "You could say that Icelandic cuisine is characterized by a small selection of first-class, fresh basic ingredients," says Sigurdsson, the head of the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Here Sigurdsson explains two delicious recipes that focus on the fish. The spices and side dishes are primarily there to emphasize the quality of the fish and its pure taste, emphasizes the cook.

STARTER

Cod jam with arugula

Ingredients for 4 persons:

500 g cod fillet, salt and black pepper, half a lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 sprig of fresh thyme, olive oil, 60 g arugula

Preparation:

1. Season the cod fillets with salt, pepper and the lemon zest. Let it steep for a few minutes.

2. Carefully heat the sliced ​​garlic and thyme in a little olive oil.

3. Remove the pan from the hob and add the cod. Place the lid on the pan and let the fish steep for ten minutes, or until the meat of the cod is white and translucent.

4. Remove the cod from the pan and crumble it.

5. Rinse the arugula leaves in cold water and pat dry. Season with olive oil, lemon juice and salt.

6. Arrange the crumbled cod and rocket salad on plates and serve.

MAIN COURSE

Baked redfish with pearl barley and yogurt

Ingredients for 4 persons:

800 g skinless redfish fillet, 120 g butter, juice of 2 lemons, 80 g pearl barley, 320 ml water, 300 g yoghurt, 100 g Greek yogurt, 3 g chives, 1 g dill, 5 g parsley, 1 g mint, 2 g Tarragon, sea salt, zest of half a lemon

Preparation:

1. Boil the pearl barley in water with a little sea salt. When they are cooked, cool them in the fridge.

2. Mix the cold pearl barley with yoghurt and Greek yogurt. Chop all herbs and add to the mixture with the grated lemon peel. Season with sea salt.

3. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Cut the redfish into pieces of 100 g each and place them on the tray. Season with sea salt and add butter to the fish pieces. Bake in the oven at 160 ° C for 8-10 minutes.

4. When the redfish is cooked, add lemon juice to the fish and pour the roasting liquid from the tray over it.

5. Arrange the redfish with the chilled pearl barley yogurt. If desired, other herbs can be added to the fish.