Donal Skehan shares his delicious recipe for Beetroot Gravadlax, Crispbreads & Pickled Cucumber.


  • 1.4kg side of salmon, scaled

For beetroot cure

  • 1 large raw beetroot, peeled and quartered
  • Good handful of fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt
  • 4½ tablespoons caster sugar
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon wholegrain mustard

For the cucumber pickle

  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • ½ tablespoons salt
  • 1 small shallot, very thinly sliced

For the dill crème fraîche

  • Good handful of fresh dill finely chopped
  • 200ml tub crème fraîche
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Small circular Swedish crispbreads, to serve
  • Fresh watercress and dill sprigs, to garnish


  1. For the beetroot cure, blitz the beetroot to a smooth purée and put in a bowl. Combine the dill, sea salt, caster sugar, honey, black pepper and mustard. Roll out a large piece of cling-film and sprinkle the base with half of the beetroot mixture. Place the salmon skin-side down on the beetroot mixture and top with the remaining mixture. Wrap the salmon tightly with the cling-film and give it an extra layer if you need to. Place the wrapped parcel in a high-sided dish and weigh it down with a plate and some full cans or whatever heavy item you have to hand.
  2. Leave the salmon to cure in the fridge for up to 5 days, turning halfway through. The dish will fill with juices but don’t be too concerned about draining them until you are ready to serve.
  3. For the cucumber pickle, mix the sugar and vinegar in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Mix in the salt and shallots and then add the cucumber slices. Cover with cling-film and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. For the dill crème fraîche, mix the dill, crème fraîche, lemon juice and black pepper in a bowl. Cover with cling-film and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  5. When you are ready to serve, unwrap the salmon and rinse off the cure under cold running water. Pat dry then slice thinly with a large knife. Arrange crispbreads on each serving plate and top with the slices of beetroot gravadlax and dollops of the dill crème fraîche and a small mound of cucumber pickle to each one. Garnish with the watercress and dill sprigs to serve.