I mentioned in an earlier post that I wanted to try the beetroot-cured salmon recipe from a new cookbook. The contrast of color is visually impressive and love the subtle sweet earthy flavor from the beetroot. The recipe itself is easy but you need to prepare the salmon at least two to three days before consuming. When buying salmon use the freshest of fish, sushi grade if possible and plan to start the curing process the same day. For a more even thickness and so the salmon cures evenly, I prefer to use the middle cut and slice away the thinner sides. I used an 800g piece of salmon (because I needed more) but kept the rest of the ingredients the same.
I also like to baste the salmon fillet with the wet brine a few times during the process. Once the curing was complete ( I prefer 2 days), didn’t wash the curing ingredients off as instructed, but gently scraped them away with the side of a spoon and patted the excess moisture with kitchen paper. This is what I do when making gravlax, which is basically the same process.
Serve the beetroot-cured salmon as canapés on thinly sliced home-made brown bread. Top with a little dollop of crème fraîche mixed with horseradish sauce (couldn’t find fresh horseradish) and garnish with sprig of fresh dill. Or, serve as a starter with leafy greens on the side. Either way it’s really delicious and a perfect make ahead dish for entertaining.
Recipe adapted from the cookbook, Polpo.
600g fillet of salmon, skin and pin-bones removed
250g un-cooked beetroot, peeled and roughly grated
zest of 2 small oranges
6 black peppercorns, crushed
75g flaky sea salt
75g caster sugar
1 bunch of dill, roughly chopped
How to make:
In a bowl mix together the beetroot, orange zest, black pepper, sea salt, caster sugar, dill and vodka. Choose a glass or ceramic dish that will snugly fit the salmon fillet. Place half the beetroot mix into the dish and spread out. Place the salmon fillet on top and with the remain beetroot mix, cover completely. Cover with cling film and place a small tray or plate on top, weight down with a couple of cans. I used the two-pound weights from my kitchen scales. Store in the refrigerator.
After 2 or 3 days your salmon should have taken on a lovely color. Remove the piece of salmon from the dish and gently scrape off the curing ingredients and pat dry with kitchen paper. Discard the curing ingredients. Slice the cured salmon thinly and use the beetroot-cured salmon with canapés or serve as a starter with a leafy green salad. Keep any remain cured salmon warped with greaseproof paper and cling film and store in the fridge. Use within five days.
Note: The Polpo cookbook is available at Words Bookstore and Cafe for those residing in Bahrain.