This is a great dish for serving at a party either ‘with drinks’ or as a starter. It can look pretty spectacular but it is so simple to prepare. Almost all the work is done ahead of time.
I do appreciate that raw fish isn’t for everyone but I love it and this is a fantastic way of showcasing the flavour and delicate texture of raw salmon. As a starter serve it with the Vodka Crème Fraîche, a smattering of baby salad leaves and some finely sliced cucumber and radish for a refreshing lift. As an appetizer it works wonderfully with the creme fraîche on a blinis! Garnish with a little parsley or dill.
We got some dirt under our fingers using our gorgeously fresh homegrown beetroot you can see above. Be sure to use a really fresh piece of salmon as well. To acknowledge Scottish Food Fortnight we bought a beautiful piece of Scottish salmon and sourced Holy Grass Vodka. Holy Grass is hand-crafted by Dunnet Bay Distillers. This is not necessarily vodka as you know it – smooth and fresh, infused with sweet Highland vapours I think I’ve found my new favourite spirit!
Written by Faye
Beetroot and Vodka Cured Salmon with Vodka Crème Fraîche
Prep time: 15 minutes (plus 24-48 hours marinade)
For the salmon:
- 1 side of salmon (skin & pin bones removed)
- 1 medium raw beetroot, grated (it is a good idea to wear gloves for this!)
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 double shot of vodka
- Zest of one lemon
For the crème fraîche:
- 200ml crème fraîche
- 1 single shot of vodka
- 3 tablespoons horseradish
- Pestle & mortar
- Cling film
- Mixing bowl
- Sharp knife for slicing
- Place the salmon on some cling film and onto a tea towel or some kitchen roll.
- Grind the coriander seeds and black peppercorns in a pestle and mortar.
- Combine the spices with the beetroot, salt, sugar, vodka and lemon zest.
- Spread the mixture over the top of the salmon and press down lightly.
- Wrap well in cling film to keep all the juices in. You could also wrap the tea towel or the kitchen roll around the salmon so that it mops up any juices that might escape.
- Place the salmon between two boards / trays and weigh down with cans or metal weights. Place the salmon into the fridge and leave for 24 – 48 hours.
- Prepare the creme fraîche about an hour before serving – whisk the vodka and horseradish into the crème fraîche and chill for an hour.
- Shortly before serving un-wrap the salmon and rinse of the marinade.
- Slice the salmon very thinly and serve together with the crème fraiche.