This recipe for Homemade Gravlax from a California blogger is simple to make and presents so beautifully on a platter. The first time I made this recipe I couldn’t believe how easy it was and why it had taken so long. It is the perfect accompaniment for your bagel platter after Yom Kippur or on top of latkes at Hanukkah.
2 pounds fresh center-cut wild salmon fillet, skin on
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons peppercorns
2 teaspoons crushed juniper berries (can be purchased at Whole Foods, Fairway or specialty food stores)
7-8 large sprigs fresh dill
1 or 2 shots of gin or vodka
In a bowl, combine the salt, sugar, peppercorns, and juniper berries.
Line a glass dish that will fit your salmon fillet with 2 large pieces of plastic wrap and sprinkle half of your salt and sugar mixture onto the bottom.
Lay half of your dill sprigs down, then cover with your salmon fillet. Sprinkle the remaining mixture on top of the fillet, then cover with the remaining sprigs of dill and your shots of alcohol, and then wrap everything as tightly as you can in the plastic. Leave it in the dish, as the salt will create a brine for the fish. Refrigerate for 3 or 4 days, depending on the thickness of your filet. The lox is finished when the salmon’s hue has transitioned from pink to deep orange.
Before serving, discard the dill and rinse the fillet of the brine, peppercorns and juniper berries. Slice thinly against the grain with a sharp knife. Serve with sliced lemon and capers.
Variation: Try a layer of shredded raw beets on the non-skin side of your fillet before wrapping. After the lox is finished curing, each of your slices will have a purple or dark pink edge to it.