Ingredients

700g salmon fillet, skin on, pin-boned
80g treacle (not golden syrup)
1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
25g sea salt
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
zest of 1 lemon
CUCUMBER & HERB SALSA
a handful mint leaves
a handful coriander leaves
1 small shallot, chopped
1 Lebanese cucumber, peeled, seeded, thinly sliced
4 spring onions, white part only, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar

It’s easy enough to buy gravadlax, the lightly cured salmon topped with dill, but I cure my own in a mix of treacle and mustard. As an elegant starter it needs a bracing salsa to go with it, so I use salmon’s best friend, cucumber lightly bruised with some herbs and sharpened with red wine vinegar. Pin-boning involves a clean pair of pliers or tweezers and running your fingers down the centre line of the salmon fillet, feeling for the small pin bones. Pinch the exposed end of the bone with the pliers and gently tug the bone away from the skin.

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Instructions

1.Place the salmon skin-side down on a sheet of plastic wrap.
2.Pour the treacle into a bowl with the mustard, salt, pepper, fennel seeds and lemon zest.
3.Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water to loosen the treacle.
4.Stir everything together, then spread the mixture all over the salmon flesh.
5.Wrap in the plastic wrap, place on a tray and refrigerate for 48 hours.
6.To make the salsa, place the mint, coriander, shallot and a pinch of salt into a bowl.
7.Add the cucumber to the herbs and mix together, crushing the cucumber lightly.
8.Toss the spring onions into the bowl.
9.Add the red wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar and a few turns of the pepper mill.
10.Remove the salmon from the fridge and unwrap.
11.Scrape away any liquid and marinade, and dry the fish with absorbent paper towels.
12.Slice into thin slices, cutting the salmon at a 45 ̊ angle, and arrange on a serving platter, spooning the cucumber and herb salsa over the top.

Recipes & food styling Martin Bosley / Photography Mike Heydon

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