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Christmas brunch: beetroot-cured smoked salmon with dill yoghurt and rye bread

Christmas brunch: beetroot-cured smoked salmon with dill yoghurt and rye bread

Whether your morning starts with present opening, a much-deserved lie-in or a brisk walk with the dogs, there’s no better way to continue it than with a suitably celebratory breakfast. So, with that in mind, the team at our café, The Provenist, have put together a series of three recipes that go beyond your usual toast to elevate Christmas morning breakfast into something special. This is the first: a make-ahead Scandinavian-inspired take on that festive classic: smoked salmon. Makes enough for four as a starter or light brunch.

What you’ll need

300g cooked beetroot (not pickled)
100g sea salt
160g soft light brown sugar
2 fillets of good quality salmon
A small bunch of dill
5 tbsp Greek yoghurt (or a dairy-free alternative)
1 lemon, zest only
Cracked black pepper
4 slices of rye bread
Soft boiled eggs (optional, one or two per person)

What to do

  1. In a food processor, puree the beetroot with the salt and sugar.
  2. Place the salmon fillets on top of a large piece of cling film and pour the beetroot mixture (the cure) all over the salmon, ensuring it’s completely covered.
  3. Sandwich the two fillets together (one on top of the other with the cure in the middle) and wrap them tightly in cling film.
  4. Place in the fridge for 12 hours. After 12 hours, take out and pour away any excess liquid before re-sandwiching, re-wrapping and placing back in the fridge for another 12 hours. The salmon needs a minimum of 24 hours to cure but can stay in the fridge for up to three days.
  5. When you’re ready to serve the salmon, take it out of the cling film and carefully wash off the cure, being gentle or the colour will fade.
  6. Place the salmon on a chopping board, take a sharp knife and cut lengthways at an angle, down towards the skin, so you get long ribbons of salmon.
  7. Finely chop the dill and stir through the yoghurt with the zest of the lemon and a generous amount of cracked black pepper.
  8. Toast your rye bread and, if including, boil your eggs. To serve, place all the elements on a large wooden board so everyone can help themselves.

Why not also try our poached eggs with cashew hollandaise, spinach and sourdough, or caramelised apple porridge with maple hazelnuts?