There is no shame in over-indulging at Christmas, we all know it happens! However, if you are playing hostess this year, you certainly don’t want everyone to be stuffed with food before you present the main event; a proudly bronzed turkey is a must at Christmas in our house (psssst…. It’s actually Mr C’s favourite!)
For that reason one darling reader asked me to make a few suggestions for what to serve as a light pre-Christmas lunch appetiser. I love to serve my Wild Salmon Gravadlax with some peppery rocket and a slice of multi-grain bread, smothered with soft butter.
As an alternative to the Salmon Gravadlax – if you are short of time, or patience – you can always serve coral slices of good Scottish smoked salmon and those sweet, little north Atlantic prawns with some garlic mayonnaise – that will also go down a treat, for sure. Give it a try darlings!
Wild Salmon Gravadlax with Juniper Berries
500g side of organic wild salmon, descaled, pin-boned (skin left in tact)
50g coarse sea salt
50g Demerara sugar
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon, grated
1 heaped tsp English mustard
20ml gin or vodka
Juice of ½ a lemon (about 2 tsp)
1 tsp juniper berries, crushed
2 – 3 large bunches fresh parsley, finely chopped
Place the salmon into a large baking dish, skin-side down.
In a medium-sized bowl mix the salt, sugar, grated lemon zest, crushed juniper berries and English mustard together into a gritty paste.
Spread the curing paste all over the top of the salmon and cover completely with a scattering of the chopped parsley.
Turn the salmon over so the skin faces up. Cover the skin side with more of the parsley.
Cover the whole dish with several layers of cling film, pressing the cling film against the fish. Finally cover with a layer of thick foil and place two or three full cans on top of the whole of the salmon side.
Place the salmon in the fridge to cure for 2 or 3 days (the longer that the salmon is left, the more the flavours will develop and strengthen.)
To serve, transfer the salmon to a large chopping board, skin-side down and brush off the salt and sugar mixture. Slice thin strips of salmon with a sharp knife, arrange on a serving dish with slices of lemon and freshly chopped parsley.
Any leftovers will keep well for a couple of days in the fridge.