Curtis Stone's smoked salmon with beetroot yoghurt and herbs
Curtis brings us smoked salmon served on a bed of tasty beetroot yoghurt and herbs. Try it for the ultimate starter.
Note: + 1 hour brining time
- 1 cup (220g) brown sugar
- 1 cup (125g) sea salt flakes
- 3 (about 220g each) salmon fillets, skin on, halved crossways
- 2 small beetroot (about 300g)
- 2 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 3/4 cup (210g) plain Greek-style yoghurt, divided
- 1 lemon, zest finely grated, juiced, divided
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 cups mixed fresh herb leaves (such as basil, dill, flat-leaf parsley and tarragon)
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
Everything spice mix
- 2 tbs white sesame seeds, toasted
- 3 tsp poppy seeds
- Pinch of garlic powder
- Pinch of onion powder
- 3/4 tsp sea salt flakes
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and salt in 3 cups (750ml) hot water. Add 2 cups ice and stir until the ice melts. Add salmon. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour or up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). In a roasting tray, toss beetroot with 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt. Cover tray with foil. Roast for 1 hour or until beetroot is tender. Set aside to cool. Wearing rubber gloves to avoid staining your hands, peel beetroot and coarsely grate into a bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup (140g) yoghurt, remaining 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest and 1 tbs lemon juice. Season. Place in the fridge to chill.
Meanwhile, prepare a covered barbecue for indirect cooking on medium heat. Remove salmon from brine and pat dry with paper towel. Spread 2 cups soaked hickory or apple wood chips on a piece of heavy-duty foil. Close foil around chips to form pouch. Poke 6 holes in the top of the pouch and place directly on the lit barbecue burner.
As the pouch begins to smoke, brush the unlit barbecue grill on the other side with 2 tsp olive oil. Add the salmon, skin-side down. Close barbecue hood and cook for 7-8 mins or until the salmon is flaky but the centre is still rosy.
While the salmon is cooking, to make the everything spice mix, in a small bowl, combine sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt and black pepper.
In a bowl, toss herbs, shallot and 1 tsp of remaining lemon juice. Season with salt.
Spread beetroot yoghurt over a platter or 6 small plates. Arrange salmon on top and spoon dollops of remaining plain yoghurt around salmon. Top with herb salad and sprinkle with 1 tbs everything spice mix.
Brine before you BBQ
Soaking the salmon fillets in a sweet-and-salty brine helps to firm up the flesh while adding extra flavour and moisture. This means that when the salmon is hot-smoked on the barbecue it holds its shape and cooks quickly without drying out.
Smoking chips are a natural way to add a smoky flavour to barbecued food. Find them at BBQ supplies stores.