Recipe by Chef Jeremy Bringardner
“I love salmon for curing, due to it's fattiness and very tender texture, which results in a delicate, yet rich and creamy cured product. I also like it's large size, which makes it easier to slice and handle once cured.” - Chef Bringardner
SERVES Serves 4
2 lbs Alaska salmon, pin bones and skin removed
Brine spice blend
2 tsp fennel seed
2 tsp coriander, whole
2 tsp white peppercorns, whole
4 juniper berries
1 cup salt
½ cup sugar
4 cups beets, peeled, grated (about 2 extra-large or 4 medium)
1 bunch fresh dill, coarse chopped
1 tbsp ginger, finely grated
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tsp lemon zest
Kale salsa verde
1 cup (packed) kale, ribs removed
1 cup (packed) italian parsley, picked and chopped
2 tbsp capers, drained
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ tsp red chili flakes
¼ cup chives, chopped
2 tsp oregano, fresh picked and chopped
¼ tsp anchovy paste
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp + 4 tsp divided fresh lemon juice
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp lemon zest
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
4 slices of thick bread
4 avocados, medium
4 tsp kale salsa verde
1 tsp salt
DIRECTIONSFor the brine spice blend
Add fennel seed, coriander, white peppercorns, and juniper berries to a sauté pan and toast over medium heat until fragrant.
Grind the toasted spices and combine with the salt and sugar. Set aside.
For the beet blend
Toss together the grated beets, dill, ginger, garlic, and lemon zest. Set aside.
For the curing process
- Lay down a couple layers of plastic wrap on a sheet pan and sprinkle half of the brine spice blend onto the center of the plastic wrap in roughly the same shape of the salmon fillet.
- Pat dry the salmon with paper towels, then place it on top of the bed of brine spices. Pour the remaining brine spices on top and spread around in an even layer to cover the top side of salmon completely.
- Carefully sprinkle half of the grated beet mixture over the salmon. Lay a couple layers of plastic wrap over the top of the beet covered salmon. Place another sheet pan on top and flip to invert the salmon. Peel back the plastic wrap facing up and sprinkle the remaining grated beet mixture over the brine spice surface. Spread around in an even layer to cover this side of the salmon completely.
- Wrap the beet encrusted salmon up tightly in several layers of plastic wrap. Lay flat on the sheet pan with a weight on top and store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days to cure.
- Unwrap the salmon and rinse off the beet and salt crust. Pat dry with food safe towels.
- Thinly slice the cured salmon against the grain and set aside.
Kale salsa verde
- Blanch the kale in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, then drain and shock in ice water. Drain and wring out excess moisture.
- Add the blanched kale, parsley, capers, garlic, chile flakes, chives, oregano, anchovy paste, extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbps lemon juice, white wine vinegar, lemon zest, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper to a blender and pulse on medium low speed to chop/puree coarse.
- Mash the avocado with 4 tsp of the kale salsa verde, remaining lemon juice and 1 tsp salt until smooth.
- Toast the slices of bread and split the mashed avocado across them, spreading it in an even layer from edge to edge.
- Gently bunch up each slice of cured salmon into a ribbon-like shape and arrange on the avocado toast. Repeat to cover the avocado with cured salmon ribbons.
- Drizzle the kale salsa verde over the salmon, cut the toast in half and serve!