Yield: 1 pound cured salmon
1 filet raw salmon (about 1 pound), skin on
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 tablespoons molasses
1½ cups kosher salt
1½ cups granulated sugar
Zest ½ lemon
¾ cup parsley leaves
2¼ teaspoons dried tarragon leaves
1¼ teaspoons dried ground fennel
1¼ teaspoons white pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne
Fresh shoots, citrus-caper vinaigrette, salt-cured yolk, profiteroles stuffed with goat cheese, for serving
1. At least 3 days before serving, trim filet of any fins, bones and excess belly fat. Check for buried pin bones and remove with needle-nosed pliers.
2. Stir together rum and molasses. Brush filet’s fleshy side with it 2 or 3 times, allowing it to soak in after each application.
3. In a food processor, pulse salt, sugar, zest, parsley, tarragon, fennel, pepper and cayenne until it reaches a wet, sand-like texture.
4. Arrange about half the salt-sugar mixture in a glass or ceramic dish, packing it to form a base just larger than the salmon filet. Place filet on top, skin-side down. Pack remaining salt-sugar mixture on top of filet, covering all exposed flesh.
5. Cover and refrigerate for 3 days.
6. Remove filet from salt-sugar mixture, rinse off any of the mixture that remains on the filet, then pat fish dry.
7. To serve Libertine-style, cut filet on the bias into long, thin slices with a fish knife. Splay 7 slices on a round white plate; top with a shoot salad tossed in vinaigrette and sprinkled with yolk; arrange savory profiteroles on the side.
Per (4-ounce) serving: 212 calories; 7g fat; 1g saturated fat; 49mg cholesterol; 25g protein; 8g carbohydrate; 7g sugar; no fiber; 1,577mg sodium; 38mg calcium
Sodium, calcium and sugar content may vary due to how salmon was rinsed prior to serving.
Recipe adapted for home kitchens by the Post-Dispatch.