Raymond Blanc’s salmon gravadlax with cucumber and dill salad
- May 2023
- Serves 6-8
- Hands-on time 35 min, plus 24 hours curing and 3 hours chilling
Raymond Blanc’s gravadlax is an ideal centrepiece for a celebration.
“This dish is truly fit for our king and will be a spectacular, regal feature of the feast at your coronation celebrations. It’s a favourite of mine – the clean slices of pink salmon contrasting beautifully with the green-tinged cucumber. I like to serve it with rye bread, and I know your efforts will win applause.”
One of the most famous chefs in the world, Raymond is self-taught, and his influence on gastronomy has been so great that he’s the only chef to have been honoured with both an OBE from Britain and the equivalent of a knighthood from France. Chef patron of Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, in Oxfordshire, his restaurant has retained two Michelin stars for over 38 years and many of his protégés have gone to achieve Michelin stars themselves.
- 10.4g (2.2g saturated)
- 1.3g (1.3g sugars)
- 30g dill
- ½ lemon
- 20g sea salt flakes
- 15g caster sugar
- ½ tsp ground white pepper
- 500g salmon fillet, skinless and pin-boned
- 1 heaped tsp dijon mustard
For the salad
- 1 cucumber
- Sea salt flakes to sprinkle
- 2 large pinches ground white pepper
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp soured cream
- Put a sheet of baking paper or cling film over a baking tray or roasting tin (that will fit the salmon and fit your fridge), leaving enough overhang to wrap the salmon. Finely chop 10g of the dill and finely zest the lemon, add both to a bowl, then mix with the salt, sugar and white pepper. Sprinkle half this mixture over the paper/cling film, then put the salmon on top. Cover the top of the salmon with the remaining mixture, ensuring an even coverage. Tightly wrap the salmon in the paper/cling film, then put in the fridge for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, rinse the salmon under cold running water, then pat dry. Wrap the salmon once again, then put it in the freezer for 60-90 minutes (or until required). This is a little chef secret which allows you to create perfect slices of salmon.
- Unwrap the salmon, put it on a chopping board and use a sharp, thin knife to cut it into ½ cm slices, stopping just before you reach the board to keep the salmon in one piece. Carefully transfer the salmon to another sheet of paper or cling film, then brush the mustard all over it. Finely chop the remaining dill, reserving a couple of sprigs for the salad, then scatter this over the salmon too. Rewrap the salmon and put in the fridge for 2 hours to ensure it has completely thawed.
- To make the salad, peel the cucumber, halve it lengthways and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Use a vegetable peeler to create long, thin ribbons of cucumber. Put the ribbons in a bowl, add 4 large pinches of sea salt flakes, then set aside for 10 minutes. Drain off the liquid, add the pepper and vinegar.
- To serve, unwrap the salmon and put it on a large serving dish. Stir the reserved dill and soured cream through the salad, then arrange it on top.
“Gravadlax epitomises the art of curing. The best, freshest salmon is cured by covering it in a mix of seasonings, dill and lemon zest. The rest is left mostly to Mother Nature’s ever-dependable cooking tool – time – and your kitchen friends, the freezer and fridge.”
The salmon can be cured well in advance, stored in the freezer for up to 3 months, before continuing from the beginning of step 3. Meanwhile the salad can be prepared a day ahead.
Try trout instead of salmon for a slightly different – yet just as good – texture and flavour.
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