This week I’m rolling out something a bit special, plus using up the last of my blackcurrant harvest. If you want an appetiser/canape to impress the neighbours when they drop in for drinks - then this is it! The rich ruby red colour of the Blackcurrant Salmon Gravlax is very striking and it tastes AMAZING!
The recipe takes a little preparation a few days in advance, but boy is it worth it. I served it with pickled vegetables and blinis, but it would be equally good with eggs at breakfast or over a salad with some crusty bread.
BLACKCURRANT SALMON GRAVLAX
Adapted from recipe by Diana Henry
1.2 kg tail piece of salmon in two halves, filleted but skin left on
6 tbsp dry vermouth
2 tbsp crème de cassis
125 g granulated sugar
100 g coarse sea salt
2 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
bunch of dill, roughly chopped
350 g blackcurrants, stalks removed & washed
4 tbsp rice-wine vinegar
4 tbsp caster sugar
4 tbsp mild olive oil
¼ tsp Dijon mustard
½ medium cucumber, thinly sliced
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
100 g blackcurrants, removed from their stalks and washed
4tbsp chopped dill
1 c self-raising flour
pinch sea salt
1 large free-range egg, beaten
1 tbsp mild olive oil
1 c milk
butter for frying
Check the salmon for any bones by rubbing your hand along the flesh to find them). Remove any you find with tweezers.
Line a dish or roasting pan big enough to hold the salmon with a double layer of foil. Put one of the pieces of salmon on the foil, skin down. Mix together the Vermouth and Cassis. Rub half the vermouth and cassis mixture over the salmon. Mix the sugar, salt, pepper, dill and blackcurrants together in a bowl and spread it over the salmon. Press down so that the blackcurrants pop and release their juices.
Pour on the rest of the Vermouth and Cassis mixture over the second piece of salmon, and place skin side up on top of the first marinade covered salmon piece. Pull the foil up round the fish and roll the joins to seal. Place a plate on top of the foil and add some weights on top such as tins or jars.
Place the salmon into the fridge, and leave to marinate for two to three days, turning every 12 – 14 hours or so. Pour off any liquid that seeps out of the salmon while it marinates. Remove the foil and scrape the marinade off both pieces of fish. Wrap in a fresh piece of foil, and store in the fridge for up 3 days.
Mix the vinegar with the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the oil and mustard, stir and set aside. Toss together the thinly sliced cucumber and red onion, and dress with the vinegar mixture. Scatter over the blackcurrants and dill, and season with pepper and a little salt.
Place the flour and a pinch of sea salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center, pour in the beaten egg and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Beat the egg and oil into the flour, then gradually whisk in the milk until you have a smooth batter.
Place a large non-stick fry pan on a medium heat, and add 1 small knob of butter. Once the fry pan is heated and the butter’s melted, add tablespoons of batter to the fry pan to make the blinis. Cook for 1 minute on each side, flipping over when they turn golden on the bottom and get little bubbles on top.
Adjust the temperature up or down if needed to cook the blinis evenly. Once cooked drain on a paper towel, and continue with the remaining batter until finished.
Thinly slicethe salmon, leaving the skin behind. Serve the salmon slices on blinis with the pickled vegetables and sour cream.
Serves 6 – 8 as an appetiser
All Images © Deborah Aspray - Motif Lifestyle Images Ltd 2019