This recipe is for Sally Anne, Stephen, Andrea and Marc who attended our first ARTandWINE course last week. ART and WINE? Funny combination you may say, but allow the mind to broaden a little… you LOVE WINE and would like to know how to articulate why you like one particular wine and not another… And somewhere in the past (though of course you do not have or give yourself the time for it nowadays, you LOVED ART. Why not combine the two during one weekend in a place that has it all!
Wine guru Wendy Gedney shares her vast knowledge on the subject (during tutored tastings, visits to wineries and vineyards and food-and-wine-matching dinners) whilst Petra takes participants on an whirl-wind tour around the world of art… Needless to say all participants turned out to be talented genii (or geniuses for the less fussy), each taking home at least one masterpiece… But because here we are in the South of France, there was lots of eating as well – 3 splendid restaurant meals plus another 4 meals at home. The following recipe was part of the outdoor picnic, but don’t forget it’s a great standby for canapés, starters for fancy meals or to make a delicious sandwich.
To serve 10 you need:
- 2 very thick centre-piece slices of salmon
- 100g gros sel (the course sea salt found in France)
- 100g demerara sugar
- large bunch of dill, chopped
- 2 tbsp juniper berries, crushed
Run your fingers across the surface to feel for any bones and remove with a pair of tweezers if there are any.
You need an oval ceramic dish which fits one piece of the salmon as tightly as possible…
Mix the salt and sugar and sprinkle two tablespoons on the base of the dish. Place one piece of salmon skin-side-down on top. Now scatter half of the remaining salt/sugar mixture on top, and sprinkle
generously with half of the bunch of dill and the crushed juniper berries. ‘Sandwich’ the second piece of salmon skin-side-up on top and scatter the remaining salt/sugar mixture on top. Cover with clingfilm then weigh down with a plate that holds something heavy (I always use a second oval dish that is one size smaller and then put two tins of chopped tomatoes in it for weight, but you may of course place to full bottles of wine on it too!!).
Leave like this for 24 hours then carefully tip remove from the fridge (by now it will be filled with water that the salt has extracted from the salmon). Pour off the liquid then rinse the fillets under cold running water to wash off the salt mix. Dry with kitchen paper and place the fillets skin-side-down on a board. Now scatter with more chopped dill, pressing down to stick to the salmon.
Using a sharp carving knife cut the salmon slightly at an angle in thin slices – arrange on individual plates and serve with a side salad. Or arrange the slices on one large plate and let people help themselves.