Inspired by classic Scandinavian gravlax, this salmon is cured for two days with dill, parsley, juniper berries, sugar and salt. The salt and sugar draw out the liquid from the fish, so the texture and flavor is superb without having to weigh it down to expel the moisture. While it seems like a complicated dish to make at home, it’s actually very simple as long as you plan a couple days in advance. I like to serve the salmon with fresh, crunchy cucumber creme fraiche salad with apples and herbs, bagels and toast. It can be thinly sliced or cubed and toothpicked.
Easy Cured Salmon with Cucumber Creme Fraiche Salad
- 1 salmon filet, about 3 pounds, trimmed and pin bones removed
- 1/2 cup fresh dill, minced
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
- 1/4 cup shallots, minced
- 3 tablespoons juniper berries, gently crushed
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
- 3 ounces aquavit
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 2 green apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 European cucumber, seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup chives, minced
- 1/4 cup red onion, minced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons dill, minced
- 1 poblano pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup crème fraiche
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dill, parsley, shallots, lime zest, aquavit, brown sugar and salt.
Place salmon skin down in a non-reactive pan and spread the herb mixture over salmon. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 48 hours in the refrigerator.
Wipe away the cure and slice or cube as preferred.
To make the cucumber creme fraiche salad, simply combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to incorporate. Season with salt and white pepper, and serve with the salmon.
Photographs by Madeleine Hill.