Salmon Cured with Dill and Pernod

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 days 15 min (includes curing time)
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 20 to 30 servings
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1 (3-pound) center-cut fresh salmon fillet

1 large bunch of fresh dill, plus extra for garnish 

1/2 cup kosher salt 

1/2 cup sugar 

2 tablespoons of Pernod 

2 tablespoons whole peppercorns, crushed 

1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds, crushed 

Thin, dark pumpernickel bread, for serving 

Gravlax Sauce, for serving, recipe follows

Gravlax Sauce:

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon honey mustard 

1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard 

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard 

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar 

2 1/2 tablespoons good white wine vinegar 

2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil 

1 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed oil 

2 tablespoons minced fresh dill 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 


  1. Cut the salmon fillet in 2 pieces crosswise and place one piece in a deep dish, skin side down. Combine the salt, sugar, peppercorns, and fennel seeds in a small bowl. Wash and shake dry the dill and arrange it over the fish. Sprinkle dry mixture evenly over the dill and salmon. Add Pernod over the top of salmon. 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.
  2. 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 Gravlax 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.

Gravlax Sauce:

Yield: 3/4 cup
  1. Whisk together the Dijon mustard, honey mustard, whole-grain mustard, ground mustard, sugar, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Combine the olive and grapeseed oils in a small measuring cup. Slowly add the oil mixture to the mustard mixture, whisking constantly, until emulsified. Stir in the dill and salt.

Cook’s Note

In this episode, Ina made 2 servings of the salmon.

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