Let's Make Beet-Cured Gravlax!

Valentine's Day Brunch


Let's Make Beet-Cured Gravlax for Valentine's Day Brunch


While I do believe Valentine's Day is #fakenews, I think we can all agree that celebrating the people we love this year is much needed. Whether you're safely throwing a small brunch at home with your Quarantine Pod or just a staying in with your partner, you can still make the weekend feel special! And for me, cooking for people I love is one of the ways that I share my time, talent and effort into making something memorable to be shared around the table. So! We decided to give our Beet Cured Gravlax a makeover and break it down for you step by step. 

Gravlax is a traditional Nordic dish where dry-cured salmon is buried in a mixture of salt, sugar and dill. Not to be confused with Lox, which is prepared in a wet brine, or smoked salmon, which is typically cold smoked for a raw like texture or smoked with low heat for a firm and flakey texture. The word Gravlax comes from the Scandinavian word gräva meaning grave and lax meaning salmon. Our recipe uses to the same "grave" technique applied to gravlax but with beets for a beautiful sunset effect and a subtly earthy flavor. 


1. Combine salt, sugar, toasted spices, citrus zest, and grated beets in a bowl.
2. Bury the salmon in the salt mixture (do this on a plastic lined sheet tray for easy clean up).
3. Wrap tightly and store in the fridge for 24-48 hours. 
4. Rinse, slice, and serve! 

If you deep dive on the Internet, you'll find tons of discrepancies when it comes to the ratio of salt and sugar. However, upon cross testing and rewriting this recipe I found that a 2:1 ratio of salt and sugar worked just fine when curing for 24-48 hours and wasn't inedibly salty. If you prefer a more raw sashimi-like texture, go with the 24 hour cure but keep in mind that it should be consumed within a couple of days. If you opt for a longer cure, it will have a firmer texture and drier exterior but it will stay fresh 5 days tightly wrapped in the fridge. 

What kind of salmon should I use? 

I would not recommend using any of the individually vacuumed sealed filets that you find in the frozen section of your grocery store. Instead, try to find high quality salmon at the seafood counter, most displays will have information about how the fish was sourced and its quality. 

Should you press the salmon while curing? 

Most gravlax recipes will tell you to weigh down the salmon while curing,  but I found the weight made a minimal difference. This step is optional and also frees up fridge real estate.

Should you rinse the salmon after curing? 

In my opinion, definitely. Otherwise the mixture can stick to the outside and give you a very salty product. 

Okay, so I have this huge piece of beet cured salmon... now what?!

NOW YOU BRUNCH! Serve it sliced on a brunch board with radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, capers, fresh dill, cream cheese and an assortment of bagels or your favorite gluten free bread! My personal recommendation: cream cheese, tomato, salmon, red onions, capers and dill, otherwise known as "All The Way" at my corner deli. 

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