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Gravlax with Spicy Mustard Sauce

Updated February 23, 2016
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This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This Swedish dish takes two days to make, but according to Dave it’s well worth the effort. The Vikings in the eighth century are credited with developing gravlax as a way of preserving fish when they were out marauding, pillaging, and raiding. The name comes from the words grav, “grave,” and laxs, “salmon,” since the fish was often buried in the cold ground to preserve it. The traditional way to serve gravlax is to slice it as thinly as possible, place on black bread or toasted rye bread, and serve with a little mustard sauce spread over the top.

This recipe requires advance preparation.

12 or more servings

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, hors d'oeuvre

Dietary Considerationdiabetic, egg-free, gluten-free, healthy, kosher, lactose-free, low calorie, low carb, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealbrunch, dinner

Moodfestive

Taste and Textureherby, savory, spiced, tangy

Type of Dishcanape/crostini

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 small bunches dill, coarsely chopped
  • ½ bunch chervil, chopped
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 bunch lemon balm, chopped
  • 2 salmon fillets, about 1½ pounds each
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper mustard, store-bought or homemade
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon gin or aquavit (optional)

Instructions

Combine the sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl to make the sugar mixture.

In another bowl, combine the dill, chervil, parsley, and lemon balm to make the herb mixture.

In a third bowl combine all the ingredients for the mustard sauce and stir to mix. Cover the bowl and refrigerate.

Place 1 salmon fillet skin side down in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture over the fillet, then half of the herb mixture, the rest of the sugar mixture, and the rest of the herb mixture. Place the second fillet on top of the first, flesh to flesh, and wrap with plastic wrap.

Place the wrapped fillets in a shallow pan and weigh them down with something heavy, like a cast iron skillet filled with a couple of bricks. Refrigerate for 24 hours, then flip the fillets, weigh them down, and refrigerate for another 24 hours.

Thinly slice the salmon; serve with rye or black bread and the mustard sauce.

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