Beet Gravlax with Crispbreads and Pickled Cucumbers

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 121 hr (includes curing and pickling time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

Beet Gravlax:

1 large beet, peeled and quartered

4 1/2 tablespoons superfine sugar

3 tablespoons sea salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tablespoon honey

1/2 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

Good handful fresh dill, roughly chopped

One 1.4-kilogram/3-pound side of salmon

Pickle Cucumbers:

1/4 cup superfine sugar

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 tablespoon salt

1 small shallot, very thinly sliced

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

Dill Creme Fraiche:

One 200-milliliter/7-ounce tub creme fraiche

Good handful fresh dill, finely chopped

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Freshly ground black pepper

To Serve:

Small circular Swedish crispbreads

Watercress and dill sprigs, for garnish

Directions

  1. For the beet gravlax: Blitz the beet to a smooth puree in a food processor, then transfer to a bowl. Add the sugar, salt, pepper, honey, mustard and dill; mix to blend.
  2. Roll out a large piece of plastic wrap and sprinkle with half of the beet mixture. Place the salmon, skin-side down, on the beet mixture and top with the remaining mixture. Wrap the salmon tightly in the plastic wrap, adding an extra layer if needed.
  3. Place the wrapped parcel in a high-sided dish and weight it down with a plate and some cans, or whatever heavy item you have at hand.
  4. Leave the salmon to cure in the fridge for 5 days, turning the salmon halfway through. The dish will fill with juices but don't be too concerned about draining them until you are ready to serve.
  5. For the pickled cucumbers: In a bowl mix together the sugar and vinegar until the sugar has dissolved. Mix in the salt and shallots and then add the cucumber slices. Cover with plastic and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
  6. For the dill creme fraiche: Mix the creme fraiche, dill, lemon juice and a good grinding of black pepper in a bowl. Cover with plastic and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
  7. To serve: Unwrap the salmon and rinse off the cure under cold running water. Pat dry, then slice thinly with a large knife.
  8. Arrange crispbreads on serving plates. Top each with the slices of gravlax, dollops of dill creme fraiche, and a small mound of pickled cucumbers. Garnish with watercress and dill.