Blackberry and Gin Cured Salmon

, from Issue #57. December, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Blackberry and Gin Cured Salmon

The beautiful purple-hued edges of the salmon are infused with juicy blackberries, the aniseed flavour of fennel and the tang of citrus. Once removed from the cure the salmon can be kept in the fridge for five days, but slice on the day of serving. 

Serves: 8


600 gram piece centre-cut salmon, skin on

2 cups frozen blackberries, thawed with their juice
1 teaspoon ground fennel
3 tablespoons gin
finely grated zest 1 large lemon and 1 orange
2 tablespoons flaky sea salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Crushed Cucumber, Blackberry and Pistachio Salad
1 telegraph cucumber
½ cup crème fraîche
2 teaspoons milk
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon horseradish sauce
1 cup fresh blackberries
¼ cup pistachios, chopped roughly 
chervil or dill leaves to garnish


Line a roasting dish that is just large enough for the salmon to lie flat, with a double thickness of plastic wrap and place the salmon on it, skin side down. 

Cure: Put the blackberries in a bowl and crush with a fork to break them up into a pulpy mass. Stir in all the remaining ingredients. 

Spoon the cure over the salmon, ensuring the blackberry pulp is completely covering the flesh. Cover tightly with plastic wrap then place a small board on top and weigh it down with jars or tins. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

To serve: Carefully scrape the cure off the salmon then lift out and place on plenty of kitchen towels to catch all the juice. Use damp kitchen towels to remove all traces of any cure left on the salmon.

Using a very sharp knife, cut the salmon into thin slices and place on a serving platter. If some of the slices are too thick, place between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently tap them to the desired thinness. 

Crushed Cucumber, Blackberry and Pistachio Salad: Lightly peel the cucumber then cut into half lengthways. Place on a chopping board and cover with a clean tea towel. Using a rolling pin, smash each half into rough chunks and place in a bowl. 

Combine the crème fraîche, milk, garlic, vinegar and horseradish in a bowl and season. Toss with the cucumbers and transfer to a shallow serving bowl. Scatter over the blackberries and pistachios then the herbs along with a grind of pepper.