beetroot and maple glazed salmon

with horseradish cream

  • 1 x 1.2kg side sashimi-grade salmon, skin on
  • 4 large beetroot (1kg), trimmed and coarsely grated
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • ⅓ cup (100g) rock salt
  • 1 bunch dill (about 6 sprigs), chopped
  • ½ cup (125ml) maple syrup
  • baby rocket (arugula) leaves, to serve
  • sourdough baguette, sliced to serve

horseradish cream

  • 1 cup (240g) crème fraîche
  • 1½ tablespoons grated horseradish
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  1. Place the salmon, skin-side down, to fit snugly in a deep-sided non-reactive baking dish. Place the beetroot, brown sugar, fennel seeds, rock salt and dill in a large bowl and mix to combine. Pour the mixture over the salmon, ensuring the salmon is completely covered. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. Turn the  salmon over and re-cover with the beetroot mixture and plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a further 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 240°C (475°F). Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Remove the salmon from the dish, wipe off any excess beetroot mixture and place, skin-side down, on the tray. Place the maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until reduced and syrupy. Brush the salmon with the maple glaze and place in the oven. Roast, brushing every 8 minutes with the glaze, for 20–25 minutes or until dark golden.
  3. To make the horseradish cream, place the crème fraîche, horseradish, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix to combine.
  4. Place the salmon, pickled onion, horseradish cream and rocket on a platter and serve with the sourdough slices. Serves 8–12 as a starter

Donna’s note: I like to pass around this impressive starter before Christmas lunch, usually while presents are being opened. It’s great for parties, too. Needless to say, the salmon pairs perfectly with a glass of Champagne and, between you and me, it’s simpler to master than it looks.

Photography: Con Poulos

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