Who better to go to for preserved fish than the Scandinavians? Pickled, smoked and salted – they have something for everyone.
As I mentioned in my last post, we bought some salmon form our very friendly fishmonger on Friday, for making gravlax: a Nordic method of curing salmon with salt, sugar, and dill. The idea for this came from Signe Johansen’s book ‘Scandilicous’ a beautiful read of (as the title suggests) all things Scandinavian and delicious. The book’s colour palate of smooth creams and pastels is enough to cheer any February morning- she even has an entire section devoted to brunch!
Anyway, I digress, the salmon: in the end after looking around we actually followed Jamie Oliver’s recipe found here, as the thought of using fresh horseradish was really quite exciting. A new one for us, a relatively ugly vegetable with a serious kick.
We had gravlaxed half a salmon before Christmas as a gift, and the fish monger kindly vac packed it to make it last longer, but this time as we only have a small amount and are eating it pretty much every day it is in a tupperware box in the fridge – keeps for about 10 days to a fortnight.
Essentially you take the salmon, cover it with rock salt and sugar (both draw out the moisture so it is up to you whether you choose to favour one more than the other), then recipes split here: the most simple recipes say to cover the salmon with dill and then press and leave for 48 hours, but Jamie’s recipe changed things around a little, and so we grated fresh beetroot (which gives the fish that beautiful pink colour), horseradish, lemon zest on top and then covered with dill, sandwiched the 2 sides of salmon together, bound them tightly in clingfilm, and weighed them down in the fridge with a block of Old Amsterdam cheese – I’m sure anything weighty will do though….
48 hours later… unwrap, scrape off all the crust and carefully cut off the skin.
We have been eating ours by itself or with some dill, lemon, mustard and crème fraîche sauce. A delicious scandi snack.