- 1 cup coarse or kosher salt
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
- 4 turns freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons vodka
- 1 4-pound side of fresh salmon, filleted, skin on, pin bones removed, and rinsed under cold water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Capers, finely chopped red onions, chopped fresh dill, chopped hard-boiled egg whites, and chopped hard-boiled egg yolks
Combine the salt, dill, orange and lime zests, pepper, and vodka in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.
Place the salmon, skin side down, on several large sheets of plastic wrap, and pack the salt curing mixture over the entire cut side down, on several large sheets of plastic wrap, and pack the salt curing mixture over the entire cut side of the salmon. Press the mixture in firmly. Wrap the salmon completely and tightly in the plastic wrap and place skin side up on a baking sheet. Place something heavy, like a large iron skillet, on top to help infuse the salmon with the mixture. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and brush the salt off. Rinse the salmon thoroughly under cold water, removing all of the cure. Sprinkle the salmon with the sugar and pack it in firmly with your hands. Rewrap and refrigerate for at least 1 week before serving. The gravlax will keep up to two weeks, well wrapped and refrigerated.
To serve, unwrap the gravlax and using a long, very sharp knife, slice diagonally in paper-thin slices and place on a platter with toast points or thin slices of Pepper Bread. Set out small dishes of capers, chopped red onions, dill, hard-boiled egg whites, and hard-boiled egg yolks.
Yield: about 20 brunch servings