recipes barefoot contessa

Gravlax with Mustard Sauce (Serves 20 to 30)

Copyright 2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten, Clarkson/Potter Publishers, All Rights Reserved


Photo: Quentin Bacon

1 (3-pound) center-cut fresh salmon fillet
1 large bunch of fresh dill, plus extra for garnish
½ cup kosher salt
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons white peppercorns, crushed
1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds, crushed
Thin, dark pumpernickel bread, for serving

Mustard Sauce
½ cup Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons dry ground mustard
6 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2/3 cup good olive oil
6 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Cut the salmon fillet in 2 pieces crosswise and place one piece in a deep dish, skin side down. Wash and shake dry the dill and arrange it over the fish. Combine the salt, sugar, peppercorns, and fennel seeds in a small bowl and sprinkle it evenly over the dill. Place the other piece of salmon over the dill and spices, skin side up. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place a smaller dish on top of the plastic wrap and weight it with heavy cans. Refrigerate the salmon for at least 2 to 3 days, turning it every 12 hours and basting it with the liquid that collects.

To serve, lay the salmon fillets flat on a cutting board and scrape off most of the dill and spices. Slice with a long, thin knife, as you would for smoked salmon. Lay the slices of bread on a cutting board, spread with the mustard sauce, and place a slice of salmon on top, covering the bread completely. Cut each bread slice in half, decorate with a sprig of dill, and serve at room temperature.

Mustard Sauce
Combine the Dijon mustard, ground mustard, sugar, and vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly
whisk in the oil and stir in the chopped dill. Serve with the gravlax