You can get ahead with this flavour-packed cold poached salmon recipe – freeze the cucumber ribbons at least a day in advance and prepare the sauce the day before you serve it. Serve with a glass of the finest sauvignon blanc.
For the poached salmon, mix all the herbs, spices, salt and sugar together. Cut the salmon in half horizontally but don’t cut the whole way through to the end. Open it out to effectively ‘butterfly’ it and make a flatter piece. Rub the curing ingredients evenly over the salmon.
Place a 30x45cm/12x18in piece of good-quality heat-resistant cling film on the work surface. Lay the salmon fillet on top of the cling film and roll into a cylinder. Wrap the cling film around tightly and twist each end in opposite directions and once as tight as possible, tie each end with string to secure. Reserve and refrigerate overnight.
For the cucumber salad and white wine vinegar dressing, salt the cucumber strips and marinate for 25 minutes. Wash off the salt and then place the cucumber in the freezer overnight. The light curing seasons the cucumber and draws out the moisture. The freezing will break down the cell walls of the cucumber and give it a much brighter colour.
Defrost the cucumber at room temperature, taste and wash to remove any excess salt. In a bowl, mix together the cucumber ribbons, dill, olive oil, vinegar and sugar. Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary. Set aside.
For the wasabi and horseradish sauce, mix together all the ingredients, taste and correct the seasoning.
For the cauliflower florets, mix the cauliflower florets with two teaspoons of the wasabi and horseradish sauce. Reserve any remaining sauce to serve.
To cook the salmon, bring a large pan of water, deep enough to hold the salmon, to a gentle simmer and remove from the heat. The residual heat of the water cooks the fish through gently. As the temperature drops in water, heat permeates the flesh of the fish - so it is cooked through but the outside is not overcooked.
Add the salmon and cook for 9-12 minutes (depending on thickness) off the stove (you can check the salmon is cooked through by checking the internal temperature has reached 55C/130F by using a meat thermometer if you have one). Lift the salmon from the hot water and allow to rest for two minutes before placing in a bowl of ice water to cool fully. Drain and reserve in fridge.
To serve, slice the salmon into 1cm/½in discs and remove the cling film. Place the salmon in the middle of each plate. If using, arrange the flakes of salted cod alongside. Serve with the cucumber ribbons and cauliflower florets around. Spoon the remaining wasabi and horseradish sauce, top with the salmon eggs and caviar (if using) and micro herbs.
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