From Sophie Michell’s Love Good Food
Edible flowers can transform a dish. Whether it’s a simple salad with nasturtiums scattered prettily over the top, or a more complex dish that you want to make into a show-stopper, flowers add vibrancy, freshness and full-on colours. This dish is a brilliant example of how to combine beautiful colours, delicate flavours and simple but impressive techniques. Curing salmon is one of those processes that sounds so much harder and more time consuming than it actually is, and it knocks people’s socks off! The beetroot adds amazing colourful edges, and the pansies provide the final flourish.
Beetroot-Cured Salmon Gravlax
Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus 24 hours curing time
800g/1lb 12oz side of salmon, skin on
150g/5½oz sea salt
100g/3½oz/scant ½ cup brown sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
200g/7oz raw beetroot, peeled and grated
1 small handful of tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
1 small handful of edible micro flowers, such as borage, pansies and chive flowers, to scatter
1 tbsp horseradish
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp caster sugar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Check the salmon for pin bones and remove, then trim off any excess fatty bits from the edges of the salmon.
2. Mix the salt, sugar, lemon zest and pepper together in a small bowl. Put the fish, skin-side down, on a plastic tray and pat the salt mixture on top in an even layer. Spread the grated beetroot over the salt mixture, then cover with clear film and put a second tray or chopping board on top of the salmon. Put weights on the tray such as cans of food, then put in the fridge to cure for at least
3. Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together with 2 teaspoons water until thoroughly combined, then cover and put in the fridge with the salmon.
3. Scrape the beetroot and salt mixture off the salmon and discard. Quickly wash the salmon under cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Put the salmon on a chopping board and, using a very sharp knife, cut it on the diagonal into thin slices. Use the skin to hold onto as you cut to keep the fish steady, and discard it when you have finished cutting the fish.
3. Drizzle the dressing over the salmon, then scatter over the tarragon and edible flowers.
Sophie Mitchell has worked in Michelin-starred kitchens and as a chef to numerous celebrities, and her Love Good Food cookbook allows you to create memorable meals without spending hours in the kitchen.
Discover how to cook like a trained chef – and try recipes such as Miso-Glazed Pork Belly, Micro-Herb & Parmesan Ravioli and Tomato & Geranium Jellies – to wow your friends, your partner and yourself!