Beetroot cured salmon paired with pickled cucumber, horseradish sauce and an avocado cream.
Beetroot cured salmon makes an impressive looking starter on any dinner table. However, despite appearances, it is a relatively easy starter to prepare.
It’s a simple case of curing the fish with salt, sugar and any flavourings that you’d like to use.
The process takes very little time to prepare, you just need to remember to turn it regularly when curing!
How to cure salmon?
Curing is a very old method used for storing fish. The salt cure firms up the flesh of the fish, dehydrating it and thereby removing the liquid and killing bacteria.
To cure salmon you add salt and sugar to the salmon, along with any other flavourings that you want to add.
For this cured salmon recipe, start by laying 2-3 sheets of clingfilm on top of each other. Cut the salmon side in half and place one half of the salmon skin side down on the clingfilm.
Pour the beetroot and salt mixture over the flesh of the fish and place the other piece of salmon on top, skin side up. Ensure the flesh of the salmon is completely covered in the cure and tightly wrap with clingfilm.
You need to cure the salmon for 24-48 hours (ideally 48 hours as it intensifies both the colour and flavour).
Take care to turn the salmon every 12 hours to ensure an even marinate. You will know the salmon is ready as the flesh will feel firm to the touch.
How to prepare beetroot cured salmon for serving?
When ready to cut the salmon, discard the cure and brush away any excess on the salmon itself. At this point many recipes suggest washing the salmon, however I think this washes away some of the flavour.
Instead I tend to take my time to brush away any excess. A really sharp knife is essential for cutting the salmon as you want nice even slices of fish.
What flavours can be added when curing salmon?
In this case we opted for beetroot cured salmon with additional flavours of dill, caraway and white peppercorns, the basis of a simple gravalax.
However, you can get creative and cure using a variety of different flavours and flavour combinations!
- Add cirtus: lemon, lime and orange zest
- Add spice and berries: fennel seeds; coriander seeds; juniper berries; black, pink and white peppercorns; star anise;
- Add fresh herbs: dill; parsley; tarragon; horseradish
- Add alcohol: gin; whisky
Do I need to add the extra elements to this dish?
We served this cured salmon as a starter at one of our Supperclubs and our guests loved it. For that reason we have included the additional elements to the recipe card.
However, don’t let that put you off making this really simple dish. The salmon can be cured and served simply, use it as you would smoked salmon.
Or just add a couple of the elements for example the salmon, with the horseradish sauce, served with a simple green salad.
How long will the cured salmon keep for?
Once cured, the salmon will keep for up to 3 weeks in the fridge. Simply wrap it up well in parchment paper and refrigerate.
Can I prepare the extra elements ahead of time?
There are various elements to this beetroot cured salmon dish and they are really quick and easy to prepare. Each of these elements compliments the salmon and balances out this oily fish.
Put together they make an impressive plate of food. The pickled cucumber can be made ahead of time, a couple of days in advance of being served and kept in the fridge until you need it.
However, the horseradish and avocado cream sauces are best made on the day and served fresh to maintain their vibrancy.
What to do with leftover cured salmon?
As cured salmon does keep well in the fridge, leftovers can be used to make other dishes.
We created a delicious starter with the fish. But it is also delicious served with a hollandaise sauce and soft poached egg or with buttery scrambled eggs on toast.
Use this salmon in a simple pasta dish, adding just a little olive oil, basil and garlic to the sauce, keep it simple so as not to overpower the delicate flavour of the fish.
Leftover salmon makes great fishcakes. Mix the salmon with some mashed potato, spring onions or chives and coat in some panko breadcrumbs for added crunch.
Enjoy cured salmon in a salad with new potatoes, asparagus and peashoots.
Treat it like you would a smoked salmon, the options are endless.
Can you freeze salmon?
In the same way that you can freeze smoked salmon, you can also freeze cured salmon. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
I like to lay any leftovers out on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Lay them in a single layer and then pop into either a box or a bag.
If placing more salmon on top, separate each layer with greaseproof paper as this stops the slices of beetroot cured salmon sticking together in the freezer.
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Additional recipe suggestions:
If you like this recipe then why not try some of our other great starters:
- Seared Scallops with Celeriac & Bacon
- Scallops with Pea Puree & Butter Sauce
- Smoked Mackerel Pate
- Twice Baked Cheese Souffles
- Courgette Fritters
Beetroot Cured Salmon with Pickled Cucumber, Horseradish & Avocado
- 1 kg side of salmon (skin on and de-boned)
- 300 g cooked beetroot
- 100 g salt
- 75 g caster sugar
- 1 large bunch fresh dill
- 2 tsp caraway seeds
- 2 tsp white peppercorns
- 2 whole cucumber
- 150 ml white wine vinegar
- 5 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 large bunch fresh dill
- 2 tsp horseradish sauce
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- salt & pepper
- 175 ml double cream
- 2 large ripe avocados
- 4 tbsp creme fraiche
- 4 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 cooked beetroot (cut into cubes)
- pea shoots
- fresh dill
- Place the salt, sugar, dill, caraway seeds and white peppercorns into a food processor along with the cooked beetroot. Blitz to a pulp.
- Lay 2-3 sheets of clingfilm on top of each other. Cut the salmon side in half. Place one half of the salmon skin side down on the clingfilm. Pour the beetroot and salt mixture over the flesh of the fish and place the other piece of salmon on top, skin side up. Ensure the flesh of the salmon is completely covered in the cure and tightly wrap with clingfilm.
- Place the wrapped up salmon into a tray and allow it to rest and chill in the fridge for 48 hours. Turn the fish every 12 hours. After 48 hours the salmon will feel firm to the touch.
- Pare the cucumber into thin ribbons along the length, using a potato peeler. Place the ribbons in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and cover with ice cold water. Set aside for an hour to draw out excess water.
- After an hour drain thoroughly and wash off any residual salt. Place the ribbons on kitchen paper and dry completely.
- Meanwhile place the vinegar, sugar and dill into a saucepan and simmer gently for 5 minutes to dissolve the sugar. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Place the cucumber ribbons in a plastic container with a tight sealing lid. Pour over the pickling liquor and stir to combine. Allow to cool completely, then cover with lid and place in the fridge for a minimum of two hours but ideally 2 days.
- Mix together the horseradish sauce, mustard, vinegar and sugar. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
- Whip the double cream into peaks and stir through the horseradish mixture. Place in the fridge to chill until ready to serve.
- Place the avocado and creme fraiche in a bowl and mix together with a stick blender, add the dill and season with salt and further blitz to a smooth cream. Set aside until ready to serve.
- After 48 hours remove the salmon from the cling film and discard any excess cure.
- Using a sharp knife cut the salmon into thin slices, much as you would if cutting smoked salmon.
- Place some of the horseradish sauce on the plate and arrange the sliced salmon on top. Pipe or spoon some avocado cream onto the plate. Arrange the pickled cucumber and cooked beetroot around the plate and garnish with pea shoots and fresh dill fronds. Serve immediately.
• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •Share on Facebook