Homecured Gravadlax ( Gravalax) , Homebaked No Knead Poppy Seed , Dill and Mustard Sauce

Bank Holiday weekend,  home alone and in a clear attempt to put off cleaning,  a fit of domesticity curing and baking which sounds sounds a lot more involved than the reality thanks to these hand off recipes.

It was all set in motion on Thursday afternoon in of all places the supermarket. I want to stress I rarely  buy meat fish or vegetables here the selection is too depressing ( air-freighted veg and greying plastic sweating  meat)  so market , butcher trips and a regular vegebox see us through. Rant over , ethics supressed, wine must be bought and I always hopefully wander past the reduced section and was excited to see sides of salmon for just £5 each. It’s practically freegan to buy this stuff,  right?!

Seeing long sides of salmon I had just one thought – Gravadlax a Scandanavian dry cured salmon dish that I have always wanted to try making. I have had the Word of Mouths Gravadlax recipe book marked since October and like my now perfected beetroot and vodka cured salmon   ( one of my fantasy Come Dine with Me Dishes) Gravadlax promises for just a few minutes preperation and some occasional turning in the fridge for a spectacular and tasty dish.

Enjoying this hands off approach to cookery ( I suspect I am actually a pretty lazy cook who just loves good food) and  rather than finding myself elbow deep in bread dough , I opted for a no-knead bread , originally published in the New York Times the recipe was picked up by a lot of bloggers as a risk-free simple dish. This is a bread that after leaving to rise overnight you bake in a cast iron pot. I have made it once before with white flour but wanted to see if it would work with a wholemeal flour . Though I feared a sunken glutinous mess but the result was a nutty airy bread with plenty of bubbles.

Nothing really beats the pride of slicing the beautiful looking salmon, except of course the pleasure of eating it, a not overly salty gently cured and flecked with green dill leaves.

Traditionally accompanied by a  sweet mustard and dill sauce, this easily made from a basic mayonnaise recipe fresh dill and toasted mustards seeds. I add some freshly steamed local asparagus, I am eating this for breakfast , lunch and dinner til the all too short season ends.

Does anyone have any variations on the recipe below since I have another side of salmon in the freezer  ( Have sweeter words ever been uttered?) some recipes suggest alcohol and I am thinking maybe some of the sloe gin might work well ?

Gravadlax ( Salmon cured with salt and dill)

2 x 500g salmon fillets ( Approx one side of salmon cut into two )
1 large bunch of dill finely chopped
3 tbsp coarse sea salt
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp back peppercorns, crushed

  1. To make the curing mix: place the salt, sugar peppercorns in a bowl sized bowl. Add the dill and stir to combine.
  2. Line a large, shallow, rectangular dish, with clingfilm. Place one of the salmon fillets, skin-side down sprinkle over the cure then add the second fillet skin side up forming a sandwich of fillets and cure
  3. Wrap the fish in the clingfilm and wrap the whole thing in foil , return to the dish and cover with a board
  4. Weigh the fish down with some cans or weights on top to remove. Place in fridge, turning the salmon over every 12 hours, for 3-4 days ( min 3 days really). I found I needed to pour off excess liquid coming from the salmon
  5. Before serving the Gravadlax dust of most of the cure and cut the gravadlax thinly 10mm thick

No Knead Poppy Seed Bread

500 grams strong wholemeal bread flour
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp of poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
10 fl oz of water, at room temperature
Flour for dusting

  1. In a food processor combine the flour, salt, and yeast. Pour in the water. Its very wet dough . Leave in a bowl somewhere warm like the airing cupboard overnight
  2. The dough will increase in size and get bubbles on the top also it have a stringy consistency.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface gently bring the sides over and over . Put it into a floured le cruset pot. in the oven pre-heated to 230°C
  4. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid, remove the (hot) lid, and bake for another 15 minutes, until beautiful and golde

Dill and Mustard Sauce

1 egg yolk
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt
4 tbsp of white wine vinegar
1 tbsp of honey
150ml of sunflower oil
3 tbsp of mustard seeds

  1. Put the egg yolks into the bowl with the Dijon mustard and the salt and whisk well until smooth.
  2. Gradually add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking all the time. You should have a smooth, quite thick mayonnaise that stands in peaks.
  3. Add the white wine vinegar & honey to taste and briefly whisk.
  4. Add the chopped dill and mustard seeds.
  5. This will keep for a week or so for sneaky dipping of gravadlax.

Salmon in Prosciutto with Broad Bean, Courgette and Fennel Salad by you.Salmon cured in Beetroot and VodkaP1010742


  1. This looks lovely. Gravadlax has been on my “To Cook” list for ages but I never seem to get round to it. Perfect for using up bargain salmon too!

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