Beet-Cured Salmon Gravlax
Making this dish has become a Chanukah tradition at home and at DC’s Equinox Restaurant where it’s served on latkes with a horseradish sour cream sauce. The beets give the fish an amazing vivid color and the citrus a fresh taste for this refreshed fish tradition.
- 1/4 cup Cointreau
- One 2-pound salmon fillet, with the skin on
- 2 cups kosher salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 small beets, peeled and grated (about 1 3/4 cups)
- 1 tablespoon toasted fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Cheesecloth for wrapping, one piece about 3 feet long
- Rub the Cointreau over the salmon flesh. Combine the salt, sugar, beets, fennel seeds, orange zest and black pepper in a medium bowl. Unfold the cheesecloth and lay it in a shallow pan large enough to hold the salmon, centering it so the edges are free to wrap over the fish. Spoon half of the salt mixture into the pan, smoothing over the cheesecloth. Place the fish skin side down on top. Spoon the remaining salt mixture evenly over the fish, covering as much as possible. Fold the cheesecloth edges up and over the fish. Place a heavy plate on top of wrapped fish and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- To serve, remove the pan from the refrigerator. Unwrap the fish, brush aside the salt mixture and lift the fish from the pan. Wash the fish under cold water to remove the remaining salt. Dry well with paper towels. Slice very thin, lift from the skin and serve alone or with matzah crackers during Passover, toasted bagels and cream cheese other times.
- Photography by Renee Comet