All recipes copyright © 2005 Roy Finamore
Fennel-Orange Gravlax with Bagel Chips
Baby fennel, which I get at the farmers' market, has very thin stalks and lots of fronds and it's perfect for this recipe. If you can't find baby fennel, smash the thick tops of mature fennel before chopping. You could also add other fresh herbs to the salmon cure: chives, dill, bronze fennel, basil are all possibilities.
Ask for the head end of the salmon fillet.
1 1/2 pounds wild salmon fillet
2/3 cup coarse salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed, crushed
2 cups chopped fennel tops and fronds
8 bagels, cut into three slices
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 red onion, sliced very thin
Cream cheese, softened
Capers, rinsed and drained
Take out your tweezers or needle-nose pliers and remove the pin bones from the salmon.
Combine the salt, sugar, zest, and fennel seed in a mixing bowl and whisk it to distribute the zest. Add the chopped fennel and toss with your hands.
Rip off a long piece of plastic wrapabout 2 feet longand lay it on the counter. Make a bed with half the cure in the center of the plastic and set the salmonskin downon top of it. Pack the rest of the cure on top of the salmon. Wrap the fish tight with the plastic, set it on a plate, and refrigerate for 36 hours.
Scrape the cure off the fish and refrigerate the fish on a rack for about 1 hour to dry it out.
For serving, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay the bagel slices out on baking sheets and toast them in the oven, turning after about 5 minutes. You can make the bagel chips well in advance.
Cut the salmon at an angle into very thin slices, cutting down tobut not throughthe skin. Arrange the slices on a platter. Make up another platter with the bagel chips, tomatoes, and onion. Put the cream cheese and capers in bowls and serve.
Store leftover gravlax wrapped tight in plastic in the refrigerator.
Gravlax for Dinner
Cool cured salmon is a great dinner for a hot summer night. Serve it with boiled creamer potatoes rolled in butter, sliced tomatoes, capers, and a green salad.