12 appetizer servings (serving size: about 2 ounces)
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr
1/3 cup fine sea salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon whole white peppercorns, crushed
1 (1 1/2-pound) center-cut salmon fillet, unskinned and cut in half crosswise
2 cups fresh dill sprigs
How to Make It
Combine first 4 ingredients. Sprinkle one-third of salt mixture in bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish. Arrange 1 salmon half, skin side down, in dish. Sprinkle with one-third salt mixture and dill. Top with remaining salmon half, skin side up. Spread remaining salt mixture over top of salmon. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place a cast-iron skillet or other heavy object on top of salmon to weigh it down; refrigerate 24 hours.
Remove skillet; set aside. Uncover salmon; carefully turn salmon stack over. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place skillet on top of salmon, and refrigerate 24 hours.
Remove skillet; set aside. Uncover salmon; carefully turn salmon stack over. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place skillet on top of salmon, and refrigerate 12 hours. Scrape off and discard dill and salt mixture; discard liquid. Rinse salmon. Cut salmon into (1/8-inch-thick) slices. Discard skin.
I made this as an appetizer for Easter dinner. It was a big hit. I debated for a long-time about whether or not to use "sushi-grade" salmon; I figured if sushi-grade salmon was a requirement, the recipe would have specified that. I ultimately wound up using previously frozen sockeye salmon because the wild salmon that the recipe says works best was not yet in season. I still thought the end result was good.
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