Photo by Chronicle Books
Who is hosting at least one gathering this holiday season? 🙋🏻
Who is attending at least one potluck? 🙋🏾
This Beet and Horseradish Cured Wild Salmon Gravlax recipe is a great one for those events where you might be looking to make a good impression (Hello Mr. & Mrs. In-law!) and bring not only cheer but great taste to your festivities. It’s delicious and beautiful in color.
To be fair, this is not a Wild for Salmon Kitchen original. You may have seen it in Diane Morgan’s beautiful cookbook, Salmon, or Bon Appétit’s Healthyish blog, in the New York Times, in a Gordon Ramsey video or even on goop. That just means it’s a good one, if all these trusted sources are taking a crack at an easy curing dish that is drool-worthy just to look at. We bet all of these are great options as long as you’re using great fish, but we are partial to Morgan’s version. After all, she dedicated a whole cookbook to our favorite thing: Salmon.
This millennial-pink take on a Scandinavian tradition is also a great conversation starter, and more inspiring then the, “So did you get your tree?” questions you’ve been fielding at the office water cooler.
Folks will want to know if that color is natural, if the salmon is sustainable and wild, and if you made it yourself. Follow these easy steps, and you’ll be beaming with a resounding, “Yes!”
You’re welcome :)
This version of Beet and Horseradish Cured Salmon Gravlax has been adapted from Diane Morgan’s Salmon, with Wild for Salmon’s Bristol Bay salmon. If the horseradish sounds like it will have too much of a bite for your crowd, try our Dill & Orange Zest Gravlax version from 2017. Or, if you’re pressed for time, order a couple 1lb packs of our Nova Style Sockeye Salmon which will look almost as good on your starter platter. Or try the maple and alderwood smoked Sockeye Salmon Candy, another Wild for Salmon hit.
*Note before you start that this recipe takes 2-5 days depending on your desired curing time.
From Diane Morgan’s kitchen
Serves 12 as a first course or 20 as an appetizer
- 1/2 cup coarse sea salt, such as La Baleine
- 1/2 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
- One Wild for Salmon Bristol Bay Sockeye salmon fillet, skin on
- 8 oz raw beets, peeled and grated
- 1 cup extra-hot horseradish
- 1/4 cup vodka (you can skip this or swap it for gin!)
- Finely snipped fresh chives; thinly sliced green onions, including green tops; brined capers, drained, rinsed, and blotted dry; minced shallots; and/or English cucumber, thinly sliced, for garnish
Rinse and blot dry the salmon fillet.
Select a rimmed baking sheet that is the same length as the salmon or nearly so. Place a wire rack that is just slightly shorter inside the baking sheet. Cover the rack with a double layer of cheesecloth, allowing enough to overhang the sides and ends of the rack to fold over and cover the fish completely. Some recipes skip the cheese cloth and use plastic wrap for this step.
In a small bowl, stir together the salt and brown sugar. Spread half of the salt mixture on the skin side of the salmon, packing it into place. Lay the salmon, skin-side down, on the cheesecloth. Gently rub the remaining salt mixture over the flesh side of the fillet. Note that depending on the size of your fillet, you may have a bit extra salt and sugar mixture. That’s okay.
In a medium bowl, add the horseradish in with the beets, mix well. Spread the beet mixture over the top and sides of the salmon fillet. Slowly drizzle the vodka evenly over the top, being careful not to rinse off the beet-salt cure.
Bring up the sides of the cheesecloth and wrap them snugly around the fish. Fold the overhanging ends toward the center. Now seal the entire fillet in a large sheet of plastic wrap. Once tightly wrapped, arrange the fillet, flesh-side up, on the rack. Rest a slightly smaller rimmed baking sheet or other flat, rimmed vessel on top of the fish.
Put something that weighs about 3 lb on the top baking sheet. (Mason Jars with water, full beer bottles, glass tupperware, etc) Place the weighted salmon in the refrigerator for at least 2 days, or up to 5 days. Flip the salmon once a day, being sure to return the weighted baking sheet to the top of the salmon after each turn.
Remove the weighted baking sheet. Remove the fillet from the wrappings and scrape the cure off of the flesh side. Skin the fillet and then cut crosswise (against the grain) into thin slices. Arrange the slices on a platter or on individual plates and garnish as desired. Serve with the pumpernickel or other thinly sliced bread.
Cook’s Note: This can be made ahead! It can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or, wrap it in plastic wrap and then in a double layer of aluminum foil and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.