Top | Naomi O'Leary
(recipe, Naomi O'Leary)
Gravlax literally means "buried salmon." It’s a tradition that dates from the Middle Ages, when fishermen would salt their catch and preserve it by burying it in sand above the high-tide mark. It remains a favorite across Scandinavia, and it's wonderful when eaten with mustard or horseradish sauce as smørrebrød. This recipe comes from Danish deli owner Adam Aamann.
- 1 whole fillet (2 pounds) of salmon, ideally wild-caught or organically farmed
- ⅕ pt. aquavit (preferably dill-flavored)
- 6 Tbsp. sea salt
- 5 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1½ Tbsp. dill seeds
- 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
- 2 pinches of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large bundle of fresh dill
- Sweet and strong mustard
- Herb mayonnaise
- Danish Rye Bread
- Clean the salmon fillet, removing the bones and fat but leaving the skin on. Dry the fish with a clean cloth.
- Put the aquavit, salt, sugar, dill seeds, coriander seeds, and pepper into a food processor and grind the mixture into a paste. Rub the paste all over the fish. Place the fish, skin side up, on a tray, and cover with plastic wrap.
- Put the fish in the refrigerator for two to four days, turning the fillet over once each day to ensure it cures evenly.
- When ready to serve the gravlax, finely chop some fresh dill and sprinkle it evenly over the fillet. Slice the fillet into thin cuts with a sharp knife. Serve with thin, toasted slices of rye bread and a variety of spreads (horseradish, herb mayonnaise, and mustard) as well as salad and apples.