By always talking about food, inspiration just happens. A discussion about juniper berries, led to a discussion about curing salmon, which led to a recipe and this column. How fun! Curing salmon, I found, is a lot easier than I thought and how very delectable indeed. To sit with a loaf of bread, a plate filled with salmon, red onion, lemons, and a wonderful mustard sauce made an evening sitting by the fire even more fabulous. The only tough part for me was having patience, for the salmon takes 48 hours to cure. You just have to plan a bit ahead. It makes a great appetizer and a wonderful go to, healthy and healing snack to have on hand. Enjoy!
For The Salmon:
11 juniper berries
1 – 2 Tablespoons sea salt (I used 1 Tablespoon, most recipes called for more, but I don’t like to use more salt than I have to)
freshly ground pepper
2 large handfuls fresh dill, chopped
1 lime, zest and juice
1/4 cup vodka
1 lb boneless, skinless salmon fillet (I like to use a wild caught salmon)
lemon wedges and thinly sliced red onion for serving
For The Mustard Sauce:
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
5 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey (I prefer using honey to sugar, but feel free to use sugar if you do not have honey on hand)
1 large handful fresh dill, finely chopped
pinch of salt
- Roughly crush juniper berries in a mortar & pestle.
- In a shallow, nonmetallic dish combine juniper berries, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, lime zest and juice, vodka, and dill.
- Lay salmon in dish and cover with plastic wrap.
- Cover salmon with a weighted, slightly smaller dish and refrigerate for 48 hours, turning salmon every 12 hours.
- After 48 hours, remove salmon from marinade, scrap off excess, and pat dry.
- Make the mustard sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together. It takes a minute for the ingredients to mix together well.
- To serve salmon, thinly slice with a sharp knife (I use a serrated or flexible filleting knife).
- Arrange salmon on a serving platter and serve with rye bread, the mustard sauce, lemon wedges, and thinly sliced red onion.