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Gravadlax with beetroot

This is a classic, adapted from The River Cottage Fish Book. The beetroot in the cure is Steve's addition. The vegetable has no real curing properties but it has plenty of flavour, of course, and immense visual impact. Coloured with the beetroot, the salmon is reminiscent of a sunset watched from a tropical island.


Remove the pin bones that run down the centre of salmon fillets with tweezers.

Mix all the ingredients for the cure together in a bowl.

Place a good handful of the cure on the bottom of a food-standard tray.

Lay the first salmon fillet on top, skin side down, then cover with more cure.

Top with the second fillet, skin side down, and cover again with cure.

Put a board on top, weigh down and place in the fridge.

Leave the fish to cure for at least 3 days (for smaller fillets) and up to 7 days (for really big fillets from a 5kg or larger salmon).

Every day, turn the 'fillet sandwich' over and baste the fish in its accumulated juices, then replace the weight.

When the fish is cured, rinse the fillets and pat them dry.

The outside of the fillets will be stained purple and will have a wonderful gradient of purple and orange along the thin slices.

Serve with lightly buttered rye bread.

Note: Unsliced gravadlax can be wrapped and kept in the fridge for up to 10 days.

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  • 2 sides (large fillets) of wild salmon, about 1kg in total

For the cure

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 75g PDV salt
  • 15g black or white peppercorns, or a mixture, coarsely ground
  • A large bunch of dill, coarse stalks removed, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cooked beetroot, peeled and grated


  • Food-standard tray
  • Kitchen tweezers

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Curing & Smoking Handbook