SERVES 8 – 12
Author Eugenia Bone departs from La Vigilia tradition by serving this simple Scandinavian classic in lieu of a more complicated Italian dish.
FOR THE GRAVLAX:
2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. freshly ground white pepper
1 tbsp. sugar
1⁄2 bunch dill, chopped
2 tbsp. dried dill seeds
1 21⁄2-lb. side of salmon, skin on
3 tbsp. cognac
FOR THE SAUCE:
1⁄4 cup dijon mustard
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tbsp. sugar
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. minced fresh dill
1 loaf pumpernickel, thinly sliced
1⁄2 bunch dill, trimmed into sprigs
1. For the gravlax: Combine salt, pepper, sugar, dill, and dill seeds in a bowl. Remove any bones from salmon with tweezers or small pliers. Place fish flat, skin side down, in a long glass baking dish. Rub salt mixture into flesh, then sprinkle cognac over fish. Cover fish loosely with plastic wrap, then place a slightly smaller baking dish directly on top of fish and weigh it down with heavy, unopened cans. Refrigerate for 3–4 days, basting twice daily.
2. Rinse fish in cold water, then pat dry with paper towel. Refrigerate fish, loosely covered with plastic, for at least 4 hours. Thinly slice fish with a long sharp knife and set aside.
3. For the sauce: Mix together dijon mustard and dry mustard in a bowl. Whisk in sugar, salt, and lemon juice. While whisking, drizzle in olive oil. Add minced dill.
4. To serve, place a slice of gravlax on a piece of pumpernickel, then top each with a little mustard-dill sauce and a sprig of dill. Repeat the process to use up all the gravlax.