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Gorgeous beetroot gravadlax
starter | serves 10
"I’ve been making gravadlax since I was 10 years old, long before I knew it was Swedish. The word gravadlax comes from the Scandinavian word for grave, because historically people would wrap salmon fillets in beech bark and bury them with bricks on top to really help push the salt into the fish and cure it. This beautiful and delicate dish sums up everything I love about Swedish food: it’s elegant, clean and fresh, and not only does it look incredible, it’s also a doddle to make. If you’ve got family or mates coming round, you’ll be so proud when you wow them with the finished product. Of course, you can buy it ready-made at the supermarket, but there’s something so exciting and special about doing your own, so why not?"
1. Place the salmon on a large tray, skin-side down, and spoon the rock salt evenly all over the fish – this will draw the moisture out and make it dense and firm enough to carve. Scatter over the sugar to give some sweetness, then spread the grated horseradish and beets all over the salmon so that the flesh is completely covered. Gently pat it down with your hands (you might want to put on rubber gloves to prevent your hands from getting stained). Drizzle over the schnapps, then sprinkle over all your chopped dill and a few dill flowers if you have them.
2. Finely grate over the zest of your lemon, then cover the tray of salmon tightly with cling film. Pop a weight on top to help pack everything down (another tray and a few tin cans usually do the trick), then put it into the fridge for 48 hours.
3. After 2 days, unwrap the fish and hold the fillet down while you pour away the juices from the tray. Use your hands to push away all the toppings (this can be really messy, so again you might want to wear rubber gloves and push the toppings straight into a plastic bag). Wipe everything off, then pat the fillet dry with kitchen paper.
4. Skin-side down, starting at the tail end, carefully cut under the fillet with a really long sharp knife, separating the skin from the fillet. With long rocking motions, angle the knife down slightly towards the skin and carve along the length of the fillet to remove the skin. Trim off any brown bits of fish from underneath, then flip it back over. (If you need more guidance, go to jamieoliver.com/how-to.) Slice what you need as thinly as you can and arrange on a board or plate for serving. Wrap the rest of the salmon fillet in cling film and it will stay happily in your fridge for 2 weeks.
5. Mix all your sauce ingredients together. Have a taste, season with sea salt and black pepper, and add a bit more dill or lemon juice if it needs it. Serve the sauce in a bowl next to your gravadlax.
Recipe Jamie Oliver
Photo David Loftus
from Issue 10
ingredients• 1 (approx 700g) side of salmon, skin on, pinboned
• 160g rock salt
• 50g demerara sugar
• 40g fresh horseradish, peeled and finely grated (or jarred grated horseradish)
• 300g raw beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated
• 50ml plain schnapps or vodka
• A large bunch of fresh dill, with flowers if you can get them, flowers reserved, leaves finely chopped
• 1 lemon
• 200ml soured cream
• 1–2 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard
• Zest and juice of ½ lemon
• A small handful of fresh dill, finely chopped