Citrus-cured salmon with lemon labne and cauliflower salad


  • Serves 4 people

The best-quality fish needs no cooking at all, although we like to add a little extra flavour to it, in this case with a light citrus cure. Skip this step if you prefer, and simply serve it raw and thinly sliced. Start this recipe a day ahead to drain the yoghurt and soak the grains.

  • 500 gm Greek yoghurt
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, juice of 2, plus extra lemon halves to serve
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 80 gm cracked freekeh, soaked overnight in plenty of cold water, drained
  • 70 ml mild-flavoured extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unfiltered cider vinegar, or to taste
  • 200 gm cauliflower, thinly sliced
  • 1 salad onion, thinly sliced
  • ⅔ cup torn mint
  • ⅔ cup torn flat-leaf parsley
  • 60 gm mixed sprouts
  • Coriander cress (optional), to serve
  • Citrus-cured salmon
  • 1½ tsp coriander seeds
  • 1½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1½ tsp white peppercorns
  • ¾ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon and 1 lime
  • Finely grated rind of ½ ruby grapefruit
  • 40 gm sea salt flakes
  • 25 gm coconut sugar
  • 800 gm side of salmon, skin on, pin-boned
01   To make labne, combine yoghurt, rind, half the juice and half the garlic in a bowl, and season to taste, then spoon into a sieve lined with muslin. Place over a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight to drain. Transfer to an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.
02   For cured salmon, coarsely grind whole spices with a mortar and pestle, then stir in chilli flakes and rinds. Reserve a third of the mixture, and add sea salt flakes and coconut sugar to the remainder and mix well. Overlap edges of two long sheets of plastic wrap on a work surface and scatter half the salted mixture in the centre in the size and shape of the salmon. Place salmon skin-side down on top, then evenly scatter with remaining salted mixture. Pat into flesh, then enclose fish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5-6 hours to lightly cure. Wipe off excess curing mixture from salmon, then wrap in fresh plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
03   Combine remaining lemon juice and garlic in a bowl, stand for 2 minutes to soften, then add olive oil and vinegar, and season to taste. Add cauliflower and onion, massage lightly to coat and soften slightly and stand for 10 minutes for flavours to absorb. Add herbs and sprouts, toss to combine and check seasoning.
04   Spread labne on a plate, top with salad and scatter with cress. Scatter salmon with reserved spice mix and serve with salad and lemon halves.
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