Madeleine described her perfect sandwich on Desert Island Dishes as being a bit of rye bread filled with nuts and seeds topped with gravadlax, beetroot, horseradish and rocket which just sounded gorgeous.

And of all the delicious things she talked about in her episode of the Desert Island Dishes podcast this was the one that stood out to me. I love making gravadlax and I thought it was a great opportunity to give you a recipe for it as it’s so easy to do and is a total show stopper. I love adding beetroot - although it isn’t a requirement but I just think it makes it the most beautiful colour and we all know we eat with our eyes first.

Curing the salmon really just means covering it in a mix of salt and sugar - they are the most important elements and then over time these draw out the moisture in the fish and effectively cook it. Producing such delicious fish.

There’s a fair bit of waiting around but it’s literally 5 minutes of hands on time to make this and then it just chills in the fridge for 24 -48 hours.

If you’ve never made gravadlax before - definitely give it a go! It’s so delicious served with crusty sourdough. horseradish, pickled beetroot and lots of capers. I also love it in a bagel with lots of cream cheese although I don’t know if that’s how you are meant to have it!

Beetroot cured salmon gravadlax

Serves 4

500g filleted side of salmon, skin on

125g caster sugar

125g salt

100g raw beetroot

1/2 bunch dill

juice of 1 lemon


Score the skin of the salmon and then lay the fish skin side down in a ceramic dish

Peel the beetroot and then roughly chop into quarters. (I use disposable gloves to do this - but these are definitely optional - I just find my fingers stain really easily)

Bung the beetroot in a food processor with the sugar, salt, dill and lemon. Blitz it all together. Pour over the salmon - ensuring it’s all covered and then cover with clingfilm or beeswax wrap and then pop into the fridge for a minimum of 24 hours. I left mine for 48 hours and turned it over half way through.

When ready to eat, remove from the dish and give it a rinse under the tap. Slice into slithers and serve.

(This recipe is very easy to double, or triple - it’s the ratio of sugar and salt to the weight of the fish that is the important thing - so just make sure that’s good and then you will be good to go!)