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Blueberry gin salmon gravlax

Simon Boyle

This dish will impress dinner party guests and gives a new twist on a salmon starter, served with vibrant pickled cucumber.

Stuff you’ll need

1kg side of Scottish salmon
5 tbsp gin
200g sugar
200g salt
600g frozen blueberries
200g wholegrain mustard
200g Dijon mustard
200g honey
400g brown sugar
Dash of lemon juice
Dash of milk
Pinch of salt
1 cucumber
Pickling liquor (6 tbsp salt, 300ml white wine vinegar, 300g sugar, peeled ginger and red chilli)
500g puffed rice

Serves 10.


Get stuck in

1. Remove the blueberries from the freezer for 10 minutes before you start.
2. Place the blueberries and gin/vodka into a food processor and blitz until you have a thick paste. Mix the salt and sugar together in a bowl.
3. Lay two layers of cling film on top of each other. Ensure they are at least three times as long as the salmon. Place the salmon in the middle of the cling film.
4. Tip half of the salt and sugar mixture over the salmon.
5. Pour half of the blueberry mixture over the salmon.
6. Carefully turn the salmon over and sprinkle over the remaining salt/sugar mix and blueberry puree. Wrap the salmon up well and give it a good squish to ensure every bit is covered with blueberry puree.
7. Place the package into a deep baking tray, lay another baking tray or plate on top and weigh this down with something heavy. Place the baking tray into the fridge
8. After 24 hours check on the salmon and drain off any juices that might have pooled in the bottom of the dish. Leave it weighted for another 24 hours then drain again.
9. After 48 hours, remove the salmon from the fridge and unwrap it carefully.
10. Wash the salmon well and then pat it dry with kitchen paper.
11. To serve, use a sharp knife to cut thin slices off the fillet.
12. Cut the cucumber into thin slices and put into a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and mix well. Leave the cucumber for 10 minutes to absorb the salt then rinse with cold water. Drain off excess liquid in a colander. Return cucumber to the large bowl.
13. Cut the fresh root ginger
14. Combine sugar, vinegar and ginger together. Add to cucumber slices and mix well.
15. Decant into a container. Refrigerate overnight or for a few hours before serving.
16. In a bowl mix together the mustards, honey and brown sugar. Drizzle on top to serve.