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Alcoholic, Appetizers, Mains, No-Cook, Salads

Gin-cured salmon and avocado salad

Gin-cured salmon and avocado salad
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

It’s no secret that the proper libation can elevate an elegant meal. But have you ever considered incorporating liquor into something other than a cocktail glass? Properly used, alcohol works wonders in food as well. Maybe you’ve added wine to ... Read more

Total time: 25 minutes, plus about 2 days curing time | Serves 4 to 6

Gin- and chive-cured salmon

  • ½ cup coarse sea salt
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns, toasted and cracked
  • ½ cup finely chopped chives
  • 1 (1 ½-pound) salmon fillet, skin-on and pin bones removed
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons gin

Step 1In a medium bowl, combine the salt, honey, peppercorns and chives. Set aside.

Step 2Brush the top of the salmon fillet generously with the gin.

Step 3Spread the cure mix over the top (flesh side) of the fillet, then wrap the fish tightly with plastic wrap. Place the salmon, skin side down, in a large baking dish or large, rimmed, non-reactive baking sheet to catch any juices.

Step 4Refrigerate the fillet until it is firm to the touch, about 48 hours (timing will vary depending on the thickness and size of the fillet). Uncover, rinse and pat dry. The cured salmon will keep up to several days, wrapped in dry parchment and refrigerated.

Sherry vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Step 1In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust flavoring and seasoning if desired. This makes a scant ¾ cup vinaigrette which will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.

Cured salmon and avocado salad

  • 1 shallot
  • Sherry vinegar
  • 1 head frisee lettuce
  • Prepared sherry vinaigrette
  • 2 French breakfast radishes
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ pound thinly sliced cured salmon, more if desired
  • Crostini slathered with creme fraiche and topped with Maldon salt, if desired, for serving
  • Chopped chives, for garnish

Step 1Quick-pickle the shallot: Slice the shallot into very thin rings. Place the rings in a non-reactive bowl, with enough vinegar to cover. Rub the vinegar into the rings, and set aside as you prepare the rest of the salad.

Step 2Remove the core from the frisee and gently tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl and add enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Divide the salad among 4 to 6 serving plates.

Step 3Thinly slice the radishes on the bias. Place the radishes in the bowl and add enough dressing to lightly coat. Arrange the radishes around the frisee on the serving plates. Do the same with the avocado and sliced salmon. Drain the excess vinegar from the shallots and top each salad with a few pickled shallot rings.

Step 4Add the crostini to the serving plates if desired, and dot each plate with a little extra vinaigrette. Sprinkle over the chopped chives and serve immediately.


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