While my mom was visiting this week, she whipped up a batch of the most delicious gravlax. Following her recipe, it's very simple to make—the hardest part is waiting the three days for it to cure. We're heading into holiday season and this would be a perfect appetizer for any holiday party. I'm definitely serving it this Christmas.
- 1 pound best-quality wild salmon fillet, skin removed (ask the fishmonger to do it)
- 5 tablespoons sea salt
- 4 tablespoons light brown sugar (less if you don't want it sweet)
- 1 bunch of dill (stems removed), finely chopped
Combine the sea salt and brown sugar and pack firmly onto both sides of the salmon fillet. Sprinkle half the chopped dill onto a sheet of plastic wrap then place the salmon on top of it. Put the remaining dill atop the salmon. (For a spicier twist you can add a half-palmful of crushed juniper berries to the salt/sugar mixture. My mom doesn't do this, but I like it.)
After three days, unwrap, scrape off the dill, slice, and enjoy!
- Fill pre-made vol-au-vents (available at Bryan's in San Francisco or any speciality/gourmet grocer) with mascarpone, a slice of gravlax, and garnish with a small slice of lemon and a sprig of fresh dill.
- Slice and serve the gravlax (with mini-toasts or crackers) accompanied by a sauce made from sour cream, chopped green onion, honey, mustard, and balsamic vinegar (the sauce a tip from my Finnish friend).
- Gravlax freezes beautifully so you can make several batches at once.