In my early grommy days as a chef, I remember coming across a recipe for beetroot cured salmon and thinking how impressive (hard) it looked to make. It’s a recipe I put on my ‘to try’ list and sadly forgot about. So a couple of years later, with much time on my hands, I decided to give it a crack!
Don’t be put off by the fancy appearance of this plate, it is in fact an extremely easy recipe to prepare. All you need is a bit of time and patience for the curing but the end result is quite stunning. You can jazz it up with all the frills like I’ve done here with beetroot tuile and edible flowers, or just go rustic with a few salad greens and some micro-herbs.
The key to flavour in this dish is the tarragon and fennel. The salt cure gives a great texture to the salmon, but without the tarragon and fennel you would be left with a very salty flavour. Be sure to wash as much of the cure away when finished, and dress with a drizzle of olive oil and the horse radish dressing for optimum flavour.
Beetroot cured salmon with horseradish dressing & beetroot tuile
For the salmon
1/2 side of salmon
2 cups raw grated beetroot
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
small bunch of tarragon
1 cup coconut sugar
2 cups coarse salt
For the dressing
1 tsp horseradish paste
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup sesame / olive oil
salt and pepper
For the tuile
1/2 cup beetroot puree ( made by blending one raw grated beetroot with 1/4 cup water)
1 tsp coconut sugar
For the salmon and cure: Blend the beetroot, fennel seeds, tarragon, sugar and sea salt in a food processor to make the cure
Lay the boned salmon on a large tray and cover with the cure mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 12 hours. Turn the salmon over, re-position the cure and place back in the fridge for a further 20 hours. Tip away the juices, wash the salmon well and pat dry. Chill until ready to serve
For the dressing: Blend all ingredients.
To plate: Slice the salmon into thin slices and arrange as desired on your plate. Layer the dressing, beetroot shards and microherbs, and throw in a few edible flowers for colour.
Top it all off with a drizzle of olive oil.