Since moving to Minnesota summer has taken on newfound importance for me. It’s a short, intense season that’s not to be missed. I savor every moment I can, particularly the lingering evenings where the sun never seems to set. On nice nights I like to pull cold picnic food from the fridge, pair it with bread, fruit, add a bottle of wine, and call it dinner. That’s where gravlox comes in. It’s the easiest charcuterie you’ll ever make, and you never have to turn on your oven.
I made my gravlox with wild sockeye salmon, salt, sugar, dill, black pepper and grapefruit infused gin. The gin can be replace with vodka or aquavit, or omitted, but it does add a citrusy, piney depth to the fish flavor. Curing the salmon couldn’t be simpler. Mix all the dry ingredients, sprinkle them on the fish, add the gin, wrap the fish in plastic and cure over night. Before serving, thinly slice the cured salmon and serve cold with any number of fixings. The salmon flavor is mild, fragrant with dill and lusciously silky in texture. For this past summer solstice I served it with dill yogurt sauce, pickled eggs, radishes, fresh bread and butter.