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Cured Salmon with Fennel Salad

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Cured Salmon:
1 center-cut fillet of salmon about 6 inches square (1 pound total), skin, dark flesh, bones, and sinews removed (about 14 ounces trimmed)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Fennel Salad:
1/2 bulb fennel (about 6 ounces), ribs removed and 1/2 cup of the fuzzy fennel leaves reserved for garnish
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 tablespoon drained capers
1 tablespoon virgin olive oil (optional)


  • For The Cured Salmon Cut the salmon filet crosswise into 12 slices, each about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Mix the 3/4 teaspoon salt, the pepper, and the sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle half this mixture on a sheet of plastic wrap large enough to hold the salmon slices. Arrange the slices flat and close together on top of the seasonings, sprinkle the remaining seasoning mixture on top, and cover with another sheet of plastic wrap. Enclose the salmon completely in the wrap, and cure in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • For The Fennel Salad: Meanwhile, wash the fennel bulb, and cut it into very thin slices, preferably using either a food processor fitted with a 1-millimeter slicing blade or a hand slicer. Place the fennel slices in a bowl, and add the vinegar, peanut and sesame oils, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and mustard seeds. Mix well, cover and refrigerate.
  • At serving time, arrange the salad in a thin layer on a long, oval platter. Place the cured salmon slices on top, and garnish them with the capers, reserved fennel leaves, and, if desired, a tablespoon of olive oil. Serve three salmon slices per person with some of the salad.

Serves 4

Recipe Courtesy of Jacques Pépin's Table, KQED Books & Tapes, 1995 -
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