Beetroot Cured Salmon Gravadlax
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    Serves 12
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This is the perfect dinner party recipe. You can make everything in advance and then when your guests arrive, all you need to do is serve and enjoy. It’s a beautiful dish and the gravadlax and celeriac remoulade go together perfectly too.

I have also included a recipe for mini spelt, walnut and honey loaves to serve with the gravadlax, but you can serve any fresh bread of your choice.

This recipe takes some time to prepare (you’ll need to prepare it a couple of days before you want to serve it) and it requires a bit of planning, but it’s well worth the effort as it’s simply stunning, plus it serves a lot. I serve this as a starter, but it would be equally good for a light lunch or supper.

photo of Beetroot Cured Salmon Gravadlaxphoto of Beetroot Cured Salmon Gravadlaxphoto of Beetroot Cured Salmon Gravadlaxphoto of Beetroot Cured Salmon Gravadlaxphoto of Beetroot Cured Salmon Gravadlax

Ingredients & Method

For the Beetroot Cured Salmon Gravadlax

  • 80g table salt
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 700g piece wild or organic salmon fillet, skin on, scales and pin bones removed
  • 200g (prepared weight) raw beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated

For the Mini Spelt, Walnut and Honey Loaves

  • 125g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 8g fresh yeast or 4g dried active yeast (don't use fast-action dried yeast)
  • 2 teaspoons clear honey
  • 125ml tepid water
  • 125g spelt flour
  • 5g table salt
  • 50g walnuts, chopped
  • sunflower oil, for greasing
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

For the Celeriac Remoulade

  • 600g (prepared weight) celeriac, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 50g mayonnaise
  • 40g wholegrain mustard
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
  • sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Star Anise and Cinnamon Pickled Beetroot, to serve

First prepare the beetroot cured salmon gravadlax. Line a deep tray or non-metallic container (big enough for the salmon to cure in) with non-stick baking paper (make sure the length of the fish fits in the tray/container as it needs to remain flat at all times). Mix together the salt, sugar, dill and orange zest, then spread half of this mixture in the bottom of the lined tray. Place the salmon, skin-side down, on top of the salt/sugar mixture, then spread the rest of the salt/sugar mixture over the salmon. Spoon the grated beetroot onto the salmon, then spread it over in an even layer.

Cover the salmon directly and tightly with cling film (within the deep tray), place a shallow tray or baking dish on top, then place something heavy (couple of cans or similar) on top to weigh it down. Place the salmon in the fridge and leave it to cure for 2 days, turning it over twice during this time, to ensure an even cure and colour all the way through.

Once the salmon is cured, remove it from the container, brush off the curing ingredients (and discard), rinse the salmon well under cold running water, then pat it dry with kitchen paper. Place the cured salmon on a clean tray or dish, cover with cling film and refrigerate until needed (see Cook’s Notes).

Meanwhile, prepare the loaves and remoulade.

For the loaves, place 50g of the white flour, the yeast and honey in a small bowl and stir to mix. Add 50ml of the water, mix well, then cover and leave in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until the mixture starts to bubble.

Measure the remaining white flour, the spelt flour, salt and walnuts into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and stir to mix, then add the bubbling yeast mixture and the remaining water. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough on a slow speed for about 10 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. (Alternatively, you can make and knead the dough by hand, if you prefer.)

Lightly grease a mixing bowl. Once the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it into a smooth ball. Place the dough ball in the greased bowl, then cover with a clean dry tea towel or cling film and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour depending on the room temperature.

Meanwhile, grease 12 mini loaf tins and place them on a baking sheet.

Once the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, knock it back, then divide and roll the dough into 12 even-sized balls. Shape each ball of dough into a small log and place in a prepared mini loaf tin. Gently cover with a clean dry tea towel or cling film and leave to rise again (prove) in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.

Carefully brush the risen loaves with the egg yolk and then use a pair of scissors to make a small cut in the top of each loaf. Place the baking sheet of mini loaves in the oven, then pour about 100ml cold water directly onto the oven floor (or into a shallow baking tin positioned on the oven floor) and shut the door quickly. The water will give a burst of steam that will help the loaves to puff up and form a lovely crust.

Bake the loaves for 16–18 minutes or until risen and nicely browned. Tap the base of each loaf and if it sounds hollow, then it’s cooked.

Remove from the oven, transfer the loaves to a wire rack, dust them lightly with white flour, then leave to cool completely before serving.

In the meantime, for the celeriac remoulade, put the celeriac in a large mixing bowl with the mayonnaise, mustard and some salt and pepper, then mix well to ensure an even distribution of the mayonnaise and mustard. Add lemon juice to taste, then taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Transfer the remoulade to a serving dish, cover and refrigerate until needed (see Cook’s Notes).

To serve, slice the gravadlax into long, wafer-thin slices, leaving the skin behind, and arrange the slices on serving plates or platters. Serve with the freshly baked loaves, celeriac remoulade and Star Anise and Cinnamon Pickled Beetroot.

Cook’s Notes

The cured salmon will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

I normally make my remoulade a couple of days in advance too, as it saves time and I like the improved taste (the celeriac remains crispy too).