I have always loved marinated salmon and sea trout. It makes for a refreshing and delicate dish, which is unusual for your guests, as very few people make this at home. It is very much up to you which herbs and fruit you use, because there are many ways to make this recipe, but cilantro works well, as do chives and chervil. Chervil can be difficult to find, but as it is one of the most flavorsome herbs around, you might like to grow your own. You can also use other citrus fruit instead of the grapefruit. Orange, lemon, blood orange or kumquat all work well, but lime is my favorite. But as long as you get the essential sugar-salt combination, you will have a great spring or summer first course.
– PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes, plus 24 hours curing.
– 1 salmon fillet, 1 pound 5 ounces weight, skin on.
– 2 tablespoons sea salt, plus extra for seasoning.
– 2 tablespoons sugar.
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin.
– 1 teaspoon ground coriander.
– 2 small fennel bulbs, outer sections removed.
– finely grated zest of 1 and juice of ½ grapefruit.
– 2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves.
– 1 tablespoon olive oil.
– freshly ground black pepper.
Step 2: After the first 8 to 10 hours, remove the weight and turn the fish over, flesh-side up. Continue turning it flesh-side down and then flesh-side up, every following 4 to 5 hours. You can go to bed, just remember it turn it over before you go to bed, then again when you get up!
Step 3: The following day, remove the salmon from the refrigerator and carefully rinse it under cold running water to remove the excess cure, then pat it dry on a clean dish towel. Slice as thinly as you can and put on a plate, spreading the slices attractively. Season with a little pepper and just a tiny touch of sea salt and sprinkle with some of the grapefruit zest and juice and half the cilantro leaves.
Step 4: Finely slice the second fennel bulb on a mandolin or by hand, then toss it in a small bowl with the oil, grapefruit zest and the remaining grapefruit juice and cilantro leaves. Season with a little pepper to taste, then serve with the salmon.