Courtney Roulston's beetroot and gin cured salmon with pickled cucumber

Courtney’s cured salmon is guaranteed to impress. It's cured with flavours from beetroot and gin and served with tasty homemade pickled cucumber.





  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup (200g) sea salt
  • 2 tbs gin (optional)
  • 2 medium beetroot, peeled, coarsely grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill
  • 700g Coles Fresh Salmon Side, skin removed
  • 200g crème fraîche
  • 2 tsp chopped dill, extra
  • 1/2 lemon, rind finely grated
  • 1 Coles Bakery Rustic Baguette*, sliced diagonally, toasted


  • 250g pkt baby cucumbers, peeled into ribbons
  • Pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) maple syrup



Heat a small non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add fennel seeds and cook, stirring, for 30 secs or until aromatic. Transfer the fennel seeds to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and lightly crush. Place fennel seeds in a large bowl with the maple syrup, salt, gin, beetroot and dill. Stir to combine.


Line a baking tray with plastic wrap. Spoon half of the beetroot mixture onto the lined tray. Top with salmon. Spoon remaining beetroot mixture over the salmon. Cover in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge, turning once, for 8 hours or overnight to develop the flavours.


To make pickled cucumber, combine the cucumber and salt in a glass bowl. Set aside for 20 mins. Drain. Combine the vinegar and maple syrup in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 mins or until heated through. Pour vinegar mixture over cucumber in bowl. Set aside for 20 mins to soften.


Combine the crème fraîche, extra dill and half the lemon rind in a bowl.


Wipe the salmon clean and transfer to a clean work surface, discarding the beetroot mixture. Use a large sharp knife to cut into thin slices. Arrange the salmon, pickled cucumber and crème fraîche mixture on a serving platter. Serve with baguette slices. 

SERVE WITH lemon wedges, dill sprigs and finely grated lemon rind


Curing is a no-cook way of preparing salmon. The salt and sugar in the beetroot mixture act as the ‘cooking’ agents, while gin and beetroot add a subtle flavour. This means you can omit the gin if you like – it won’t affect the curing results.

*Selected stores only



Christmas at Courtney Roulston's place

Sophie King and Courtney Roulston

                               Courtney Roulston (right) and her partner Sophie King along with their dogs Pickle and Olive Oyl celebrating Christmas together. 


How did you celebrate Christmas as a kid?

I’m the youngest of six kids in my family, so Christmas Day was always celebrated with a big family lunch. Some years I’d go prawning with Dad and my brothers on Christmas Eve and we’d catch a few kilos of prawns to enjoy as part of Christmas lunch.

Why is this salmon recipe so special to you?

I’ve been making cured salmon for Christmas Day for the past 10 years, so it’s a firm favourite with my family. Having a platter that everyone can dig in and help themselves to is a nice way of filling in the time until everyone arrives for lunch. It’s also handy as all the preparation is done on Christmas Eve, so there’s no last-minute stress.

What’s your number one Christmas food tip?

For a stress-free Christmas, go for cold seafood and salads that don’t require cooking. It will save moving different things with different cooking times in and out of the hot oven.

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.