A popular appetizer of Nordic origins, gravlax usually consists of fish fillets cured in salt, sugar and fresh herbs. The licorice in the gravlax marinade imparts a pleasant herbal sweetness that pairs perfectly with the salmon, while the beets give the fish a stunning fuchsia hue.

Beet and Licorice Salmon Gravlax Recipe

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

When to make it: Start curing the fish 2 days before you plan to serve it. The accompanying salad should be made no more than 30 minutes before serving.

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp loose licorice-root tea
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill, divided
  • 1½ lbs salmon fillet, scaled,
    pin bones removed, skin left on
  • 3 tbsp vodka
  • 1 large red beet, peeled and grated
  • 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and cored
  • 1 medium kohlrabi, trimmed, peeled and julienned
  • 1 medium yellow beet, trimmed, peeled and julienned
  • ½ medium jicama, peeled and julienned
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, trimmed and julienned
  • 1 lemon, juiced, divided
  • …” cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp yuzu juice
  • ¼ cup brewed licorice root tea, cooled to room temperature
  • Rye crispbread, for serving

Line a baking dish large enough to hold salmon fillet with a double layer of plastic wrap, leaving lots of overhang.

In medium bowl, stir together sugar, salt, pepper, licorice tea and 2 tbsp dill. Scatter half the sugar mixture in a wide line down centre of prepared dish. Place salmon fillet on top, skinside down, and sprinkle with vodka before covering with remaining sugar mixture. Place grated beet on top of sugared flesh side of fish. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, lining the baking dish, and allow to cure in refrigerator for 2 days, flipping fish over after 24 hours. Unwrap fish, rinse off beet and sugar mixture under cold water and pat dry with paper towel.

About a half hour before serving, make coleslaw. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, slice fennel crosswise into paper-thin slices. Place in a bowl along with kohlrabi, yellow beet, jicama, apple and remaining 2 tbsp dill. Season with a good pinch of salt and juice of half a lemon. Toss to combine and set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together sour cream, yuzu juice, tea and remaining lemon juice. Season to taste with salt.

To serve, slice cured salmon very thinly across fish on the bias, taking care to leave behind skin. Place some crispbread on serving plates, and top with coleslaw and a drizzle of sour cream dressing. Pile or fan slices of salmon alongside coleslaw and serve right away. Serves 6.