Beetroot Cured Gravlax

This Beetroot Cured Gravlax is so delicious and easy but it does need to be made in advance so as long as you’re prepared and know in when you’ll want to serve it then it is no trouble at all. The word gravlax literally comes from a Scandinavian word for “grave” as fishermen used to salt their salmon and bury it to allow it to ferment. That sounds like too much hassle so your fridge will suffice.

The colours in this salmon are amazing. The outer part will be stained purple from the beetroot marinade so cutting into it at a sharp angle will mean each slice will have the beetroot colour and the coral colour of cured salmon. Serve on brown bread and, if you think of it, hold back some of the fresh dill to garnish.

This recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s Christmas cookbook and it really would be ideal for Christmas as it will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge after curing. I could imagine the whole family helping themselves to it for breakfast or serving it up as canapés when visitors call over. It’s delicious any time of year but I  will defiantly be making it again for Christmas.

Beetroot Cured Gravalax


  • 200g raw beetroot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 60g dill
  • 50ml vodka
  • 100g rock salt
  • 50g demerara sugar or any unrefined sugar
  • 50g horseradish sauce
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 side of salmon, 700-900g, deboned, skin on but descaled


  1. Add the beetroot, dill, vodka, salt, sugar, horseradish and lemon zest to a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth or as smooth as it will go.
  2. Place the salmon in a long, deep tray. Pour a little of the beetroot mixture over the skin side of the salmon, turn it over and pour the rest of the mixture over the salmon when it is skin side down.
  3. Cover very loosely with cling film and place a weight on top of the salmon. I used another dish the same shape and the one holding the salmon but slightly smaller.
  4. Cover the whole thing tightly with cling and place in the fridge for 48 hours.
  5. 48 hours later, remove all the cling and the weight, pour off the beetroot mixture and dab the salmon dry with kitchen paper.
  6. Now serve by finely slicing the salmon or wrap it tightly in cling and it will last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
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