160 g (5½ oz/½ cup) rock salt
100 g (3½ oz/½ cup) soft brown sugar
400 g (14 oz) piece of fresh salmon
50 ml (1¾ fl oz) cognac
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
½ cup dill, finely chopped
4 tablespoons goat’s curd
Asparagus & orange salad
100 ml (3½ fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
16 asparagus spears, woody ends
50 g (1¾ oz/1/3 cup) roasted hazelnuts, peeled and roughly chopped
½ cup parsley leaves, picked and washed
4 tablespoons tarragon leaves, picked and washed
250 g (9 oz) punnet baby chard or baby beetroot (beet) leaves
Mix the rock salt and sugar in a bowl.
Skin the salmon, removing any brown skin on the sides, as well as any bones. Place the salmon on a flat tray, pour the cognac over and rub it into the flesh. Rub both sides of the salmon with the salt and sugar mix. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator for 2 hours to cure.
Rinse the salmon with water, then pat dry with paper towels. Place the salmon on a clean tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Scatter the dill over the fish and press it on with your fingers. Very thinly slice the salmon using a sharp knife and set aside.
For the asparagus and orange salad
Remove the skins from the oranges using a sharp knife, also discarding the bitter white piths. Cut the oranges into segments, releasing them from their membranes, and removing the seeds as you go.
For the dressing, squeeze any orange juice from the discarded piths and skin into a bowl, then whisk in the olive oil. If you don’t have enough juice, take one of the orange segments and squeeze the juice in. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
Half-fill a saucepan with water and add a little sea salt. Bring to a simmer, add the asparagus and blanch for 2 minutes.
Remove and cool in an iced-water bath, then drain on paper towels and pat dry. Add the asparagus to the orange segments, along with the hazelnuts and herbs. Add most of the orange dressing and toss well to combine.
Lay the salmon slices on four serving plates. Add three dollops of the goat’s curd to each plate.
Arrange the salad over the top, drizzle with the remaining orange dressing and serve.
Recipe taken from Salt Grill by Luke Mangan, published by Murdoch Books, RRP $59.99. Out now!
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