This Nordic dish consists of Beet cured salmon gravlax in a salt, sugar and dill marinade. Served with a Mustard Dill sauce and paired with a refreshing cucumber salad, this dish is sure to impress your guests. Be it a casual get together with friends or a formal cocktail party or even a fancy restaurant style dinner at home, we will show you step by step how to put together this vibrant dish!
I learnt the process of curing salmon in my apprenticeship. I was fascinated to see, how raw salmon could be transformed into an edible dish just within 24 hours! Gravedlax as we call it in Germany, was on our Restaurant menu, served with a Potato Roesti and Mustard Dill sauce.
With the festive period coming up, Beet Cured Salmon Gravlax with Mustard Dill Sauce is the perfect appetizer for your Christmas or New Years Eve gathering. In keeping with the festive colours, I have added beetroot to the curing process which gives the Salmon this vibrant pink colour which makes the dish look absolutely stunning!
Gravlax is one of our favourite canapés!! Every time we have a get together, this has to be on the menu! You could say it's the ideal party food - packs a punch and looks amazing! Both integral in making any party memorable😉
Let's show you now just how easy peasy lemon squeezy is the process!
What is Gravlax?
The Gravedlax or Gravlax was first made by Scandinavian fishermen. They would salt the salmon they had caught and bury it in the sand to preserve it. What we do is just replace the sand with a salt and sugar mixture, which draws out the moisture from the fish leaving it firm, sweet-salty to taste. The word "grave" means 'dig' and "lax" means Salmon which translates into the process of 'burying' the salmon in the salt and sugar mixture for the curing process.
There are many variations to the original Gravlax recipe, beetroot cured Salmon being one of them. Some other ideas to cure salmon are with vodka and juniper berries or for an extra kick of flavour, why not try coriander and chilli!
How can you make Beet Cured Salmon Gravlax?
This recipe calls for planning ahead! Whilst Beet Cured Salmon Gravlax is easy to prepare, it needs at least 24 hours for the flavours to really sink into the salmon.
How long should you cure the Salmon for?
The curing duration varies from 24 hours to 72 hours or even longer!! It's important to know that the longer you cure it, the saltier and firmer the Salmon will be. Our recipe is based on a 24 hour duration. The taste, texture and the overall look of the dish are a winner hence happy to share the same recipe with you all😊
As a tip: If you choose to cure the salmon longer, the thinner part of the salmon can become too salty. These bits can easily be used by adding it to an omelet or even into a baked pasta dish.
What goes into the curing mixture?
For the curing mixture, combine salt, sugar, peppercorn and dill in a food processor.
The ratio of salt to sugar is usually 3:1. For this recipe the curing mixture is based on 500g (1.1 pounds) salt for a side of salmon, weighing 750g (1.6 pounds) which worked perfectly!
To extract maximum flavour and colour from the beetroot, run it through a juicer if you have one. In this recipe, I have used the juice and the shredded beet left after juicing. If you don’t have a juicer, you can always use a food processor or grate the beetroot by hand.
How to assemble the Salmon for curing?
Now, combine the salt mix from the food processor with the grated beetroot and the beetroot juice.
Take a large deep dish and spread ⅓ of the mixture on the bottom of the dish. Place the salmon on top with the skin side down.
Spread the remaining mixture on top of the salmon, covering it on all sides. Next, cover the dish with cling film and refrigerate for 24 hours.
How to cut the cured Salmon?
After 24 hours, remove the salmon from the cure mixture and wipe with a paper towel. Lay the salmon on a clean chopping board and slice the salmon using a sharp knife.
If you are serving the salmon on a platter or as a canapé, cut it into thin slices. For a plated appetizer, it is best to cut thick slices (Refer to images below)
For the Salad
We made an easy cucumber salad to go along with the gravlax.
Simply slice the cucumber on a vegetable slicer (kitchen mandoline) into thin ribbons. Cut the radish in thin slices and keep in cold water. Cut the apple in slices and then into thin strips.
When you are ready to serve, combine the radish, cucumber, green apple and sprouts in a mixing bowl and add olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and dress next to the gravlax.
How is Gravlax served?
Usually served as an appetizer, Beet Cured Salmon Gravlax can be served as a main course as well. Just add boiled potatoes, salads, condiments and a nice bread on the side to turn it into a hearty family meal.
If you are planning to serve the Salmon as an appetizer, here are some ideas for beautifully presenting this dish.
As a plated appetizer - Slice the salmon slightly thicker. Arrange the plate with lavosh crackers and the cucumber salad. Drizzle the mustard dill sauce over the salmon and Voila! This plated version now looks like a restaurant quality appetizer
As canapés -If you are having a cocktail event, you can serve the cured Salmon on a little cracker or pumpernickel bread, dressed with a little bit of salad and a drop of the Mustard Dill Sauce.
Alternatively, Blinis are a great option too! Just swap the smoked salmon with the beet cured salmon! It works beautifully with the sour cream, capers and onion like the traditional blinis.
And if you wondering how to create this beautiful Mustard and Dill Sauce, just follow this recipe.
For how long can you keep salmon gravlax in the fridge?
Since the salmon is only lightly cured for 24 hours, it is best consumed within three days. With all the options we have shared above, that shouldn't be a problem right?😉 Alternatively it can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Ideas to serve beet cured salmon gravlax?
Here you go:
- With green asparagus, a poached egg and hollandaise sauce
- On a bagel with horseradish crème fraiche and red onions
- With a potato salad and a bunch of watercress
- In a savoury buckwheat crepe with cream cheese
More Seafood Recipes
If you love Seafood as much as we do and if you enjoyed making the beet cured salmon gravlax, then you must try any of these recipes next. These are some of the most popular Seafood Recipes on our blog:
Prawn fregola sarda roasted garlic prawns served on a slow cooked fregola sarda stew
Baked Scallops cooked in garlic butter easy recipe for scallops baked in the oven
Whole baked Barramundi Fish fish cooked whole and served with a delicious sauce vierge
Red Snapper Coconut Curry pan seared red snapper fillets served in a sri lankan style coconut curry
Delicate salmon tartare with avocado, mango and wasabi, no cooking needed in this light appetizer
Do leave us a comment below if this dish makes it to the menu for your next get together! We would love to know what your guests thought of this delicious Scandinavian inspired recipe!
Until then, stay safe and happy cooking! Watch the cured salmon story here.
Beet Cured Salmon Gravlax
For the Gravlax
- 750 g salmon, de-boned, skin removed
- 500 g salt
- 185 g sugar
- 2 large beetroot
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 bunch dill
For the Salad
- 1 green apple
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 bunch radish
- 1 bunch pea shoots
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ lemon
- salt and pepper
For the Gravlax
- In a food processor mix the salt, sugar, dill and black peppercorns together.
- Run the beetroot through a juicer if you have one otherwise use a food processor or grate the beetroot by hand. make sure to keep the shredded beetroot as well.
- Combine the salt mix from the food processor with the grated beetroot and the beetroot juice.
- Take a large deep dish and spread ⅓ of the mixture on the bottom of the dish. Place the salmon on the top with the skin side down.
- Spread the remaining mixture on top of the salmon, covering it on all sides. Next cover the dish with cling film and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours remove the salmon from the cure mixture and wipe with a paper towel.
- Slice the salmon with a sharp knife and serve with the cucumber and green apple salad, dill mustard sauce and lavosh bread.
For the Salad
- Use good quality fresh produce for the salad.
- Peel the cucumber and slice on a vegetable slicer into thin ribbons.
- Cut the radish in thin slices and keep in cold water.
- Cut the apple in slices and then into thin strips.
- Combine the cucumber, radish, green apple and pea sprouts in a mixing bowl. Add olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Season with salt and pepper and dress next to the gravlax.