Citrus and fennel cured salmon with horseradish

Citrus and fennel cured salmon with horseradish
  • Serves icon Serves 6-8
  • Time icon Takes 25 minutes to make, plus 24-48 hours curing time

This citrus and fennel cured salmon with horseradish is a riff on gravadlax. Here the salmon is only lightly cured, so ask your fishmonger for advice and buy the best piece you can.

For a bigger group, try Nathan Outlaw’s brandy-cured salmon, which serves 10-12.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
164kcals
Fat
10.3g (1.7g saturated)
Protein
13.9g
Carbohydrates
5g (4.9g sugars)
Fibre
0.3g
Salt
2.7g
Calories
164kcals
Fat
10.3g (1.7g saturated)
Protein
13.9g
Carbohydrates
5g (4.9g sugars)
Fibre
0.3g
Salt
2.7g

For 8 servings

Ingredients

  • ¼ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1½ tbsp fennel seeds
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 20g sea salt flakes
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Finely grated zest of ½ orange
  • 500g piece of top-quality salmon fillet, about 2-3cm thick, skinned and pin-boned (ask your fishmonger)
  • 2 handfuls of watercress, thick stalks removed
  • Handful of fresh chives, snipped
  • Splash of extra-virgin olive oil

For the horseradish dressing

  • 1 tbsp hot horseradish sauce (creamed horseradish is fine)
  • 1½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 120ml buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

Method

  1. Two days before you want to eat, put the peppercorns and fennel seeds in a small food processor or pestle and mortar and grind to a coarse powder. Stir in the sugar, salt and citrus zests to make a dampish yellow cure with a gritty consistency.
  2. Put a double thickness of cling film on the work surface. Spread half the curing mixture in the centre, so it’s the same size as the piece of salmon. Put the salmon on top. Spread the remaining cure over the top, then wrap the fish tightly in the cling film. Put on a baking sheet, then put another sheet/tray/board on top. Weigh it down with a couple of tins or kitchen scale weights, then put in the fridge. Leave it there for up to 48 hours, turning halfway through, then wipe off the cure and pat the fish dry.
  3. For the dressing, mix together the horseradish and mustard in a bowl, then stir in the buttermilk and dill. Season and set aside.
  4. To serve, finely slice the salmon, then lay on a large serving plate. Sprinkle a little of the lemon juice over the salmon, then drizzle over some of the horseradish dressing. Dot with sprigs of watercress and a sprinkle of chives. Add a trickle of olive oil, then a grind of black pepper.

delicious. tips

  1. For a lighter cure, with the salmon still raw in the centre, reduce the curing time to 24 hours, turning the salmon after 12 hours.

  2. At the end of step 2, you can wrap the cured, wiped fish in cling film and it will be fine in the fridge for 2 days or so. If you want to get further ahead, slice it and arrange on a serving plate a couple of hours before you want to eat, covering it closely with cling film.

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