1kg side fresh salmon, skin on
250g raw beetroot, peeled
½ tsp fennel seeds
2 sprigs tarragon
75g caster sugar
100g sea salt flakes
Root vegetable salad
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 tbsp (40ml) extra virgin olive oil
½ bunch chives, snipped
3 tbsp aioli
1 tbsp crème fraiche
1. For the cure: cut beetroot into 3cm cubes. Blend with fennel seeds, tarragon, sugar and sea salt in a food processor. Pin bone the salmon, cut in half. Smear the cure all over the salmon flesh side and sandwich the fillets together with the skin-side outermost. Wrap firmly in three layers of plastic wrap and place on a shallow tray. Rest a smaller tray or chopping board on top and weigh it down with tins or weights. Refrigerate for 2 days, turning the fish every 12 hours. Tip away the juices, wash off the cure and pat salmon dry. Salmon is ready to eat, but chill until needed.
2. For the root vegetable salad: pre-heat oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan-forced); peel and cut the carrots and parsnips into batons approximately 10cm x ½-1cm and place on a paper-lined baking tray. Cut the beetroot into quarters and then thin wedges and place on a separate paper-lined baking tray. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle over caraway seeds and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for approx. 25 mins or until just tender, tossing half way. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Place in a bowl with chives and fold through combined aioli and crème fraiche.
3. To serve; slice as for smoked salmon: across the fillet in thin slices with the knife at an angle, then close to the skin to release the flesh. Arrange on a serving plate around the root vegetable salad and beetroot.
Lyndey’s note: there is enough salmon for 6 – 8, so use the remainder on top of savoury pikelets for a canape. Or double the salad to serve 8. Use any root vegetables in the salad like celeriac – just allow a total of 500g prepared vegetables.
Wine match: Pinot Noir
Styling: Matt Page, Food Prep: Danny Taplin