The following recipe was part of an outdoor picnic at a recent course, but don’t forget it’s a great standby for canapés or starters to fancy meals… Or make yourself 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.