THIS WEEK­END

make gravlax

Cuisine - - CHOP CHOP -

I OF­TEN FIND COOKED salmon too rich, pre­fer­ring to eat it raw or barely cooked, but I en­joy it most when it’s been lightly cured as in this clas­sic gravlax. You can of course play around with the flavour­ings – whisky and or­ange zest in place of gin and dill, add ex­tra spices like co­rian­der or ju­niper, or grated raw beet­root to the mix to give the outer flesh a ruby glow.

1 ta­ble­spoon white pep­per­corns,

coarsely ground

3 ta­ble­spoons sugar

5 ta­ble­spoons flaky sea salt (not iodised) 3 ta­ble­spoons finely chopped dill 600g piece salmon, skin on, pin boned 3 ta­ble­spoons aro­matic gin (or vodka)

Com­bine the pep­per, sugar, salt and dill. Put the salmon in a ce­ramic or glass dish and sprin­kle the gin over both sides. Lift up the salmon and spread half the salt mix­ture in the base of the dish then top with the salmon, skin side down. Cover with the re­main­ing salt mix, putting a lit­tle more on the thick­est parts of the salmon. Cover well with plas­tic wrap, put a board on top and weigh down with a few cans. Cure for 2-4 days de­pend­ing on how strong you want the cure to be. Ev­ery day, turn the salmon over to en­sure an even cure.

Scrape off the cure (rinse if you need to), pat the salmon dry and cut into smaller pieces if nec­es­sary. Re­move the skin and slice thinly to use.

Bagels, cream cheese & gravlax Toast cut halves of bagels, smear with cream cheese mixed with chopped dill, ca­pers and black pep­per, and add thinly sliced red onion and slices of gravlax.

Cu­cum­ber & fen­nel salad with

ca­per dress­ing Make a dress­ing of chopped ca­pers, chopped chives, Di­jon mus­tard, white wine vine­gar and ex­tra vir­gin olive oil. Use to dress thinly sliced cu­cum­ber and fen­nel bulb, add thin slices of the gravlax and scat­ter with pink pep­per­corns.

BABY GEM, GRAVLAX, CAR­ROT PICKLE & DILL SOUR CREAM DRESS­ING

SERVES 4 / PREPA­RA­TION 10 MIN­UTES / COOK­ING 5 MIN­UTES

This is also good as fin­ger food – put a small slice of salmon and car­rot pickle in each baby gem leaf, then top with a small dol­lop of the dill sour cream dress­ing.

FOR THE CAR­ROT PICKLE 1 cup white vine­gar ½ cup sugar 1 tea­spoon car­away seeds 1 tea­spoon salt 4 baby car­rots, peeled

Put the vine­gar, sugar, car­away seeds and salt in a saucepan, bring to the boil and cook un­til the sugar dis­solves. Thinly slice the car­rots (I used a man­do­line), add to the pickle and cook for 3 min­utes. Turn off the heat and leave the car­rot to cool in the liq­uid. Keeps in the fridge for up to a week.

FOR THE DRESS­ING & TO SERVE 4 ta­ble­spoons sour cream 1 ta­ble­spoon lemon juice plus lemon wedges to serve 1 ta­ble­spoon finely chopped dill (or use chives) 2 baby gem let­tuces, leaves sep­a­rated, washed, dried 2 spring onions, thinly sliced 300g gravlax, thinly sliced

Mix the sour cream, lemon juice and dill, sea­son gen­er­ously with salt and pep­per, then add a ta­ble­spoon or 2 of wa­ter to loosen to a driz­zling con­sis­tency. Mix the let­tuce, drained car­rot pickle, spring onions and gravlax in a serv­ing dish. Driz­zle with the dress­ing and serve with lemon wedges. (DF)(GF)(HF)

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