A salt and sugar cure flavored with fresh dill transforms salmon into gravadlax, silky ribbons of fish ready to be piled atop slices of rustic brown bread or crunchy rye crispbread for a Swedish Midsummer feast. This recipe first appeared in our June/July 2014 issue with Per Styregård’s article “A Midsummer’s Dream.”
- 2⁄3 cup kosher salt
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. coarsely ground white peppercorns
- 1 (2-lb.) piece center-cut, skin-on salmon fillet, pin bones removed
- 1⁄2 cup minced dill fronds and tender stems
- 3 tbsp. unflavored aquavit or vodka
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced, for garnish
- Softened unsalted butter and seeded crispbread, for serving, optional
- Stir salt, sugar, and pepper in a bowl. Place salmon skin side down on a double thickness of plastic wrap. Season flesh side with salt mixture; sprinkle with dill and aquavit. Wrap salmon tightly and place flesh side down in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Chill for 48–72 hours, flipping every 12 hours and gently massaging salmon to redistribute brine. When fully cured, the gravadlax should be firm to the touch at the thickest part.
- Unwrap salmon, discarding any excess brine, and transfer skin side down to a cutting board. Cut gravadlax crosswise into paper-thin slices and transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with sliced lemon and serve with buttered crispbread if you like.