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Prep 20 mins + 3 days
Serves 2-4

Good food needs to pass two tests in my book. Taste is obviously the most crucial and the higher the calorie load, the yummier it had better be. And then there are the looks. I’m unashamedly discriminatory here. If what’s on the plate is not a knockout supermodel 10 (OK at the very least an 8), I’m not really all that interested.

This gravadlax passes with full marks on both counts. It’s deeply satisfying with its firm salty flesh infused with the comforting slightly aniseed-like notes of dill and aromatic citrus. Salmon is always a thing of beauty, but it’s the addition of beetroot to the Cape Herb & Spice Pink Himalayan Salt cure that takes this to new heights of girlie pink prettiness.

The result? A bright red outer rim that gradually fades to salmon-orange in the middle. When serving this beetroot-cured gravadlax, kick its looks up to a sure fire 10 by garnishing it not just with the traditional dill fronds, but finely sliced radish, micro herbs and loads of edible flowers.


  • 500g sashimi-quality salmon fillet
  • 2 heaped Tbsp white sugar
  • Zest of an orange
  • 1 sm uncooked beetroot, washed and grated
  • TO GARNISH: edible flowers, radish, dill fronds and micro herbs


Slice the salmon fillet in half and remove any pin bones with tweezers. Mix together the salt, sugar, zest, dill and beetroot. Scatter two tablespoons of the cure mix on a large piece of cling film. Lay the one half of the salmon skin side down on this cure. Cover it with most of the remaining cure and place the remaining fillet on top so it’s skin side up. Scatter the last bit of cure on and cover with cling film.

Wrap it up nice and tight and place it on a flat tray. Place a board on top of the salmon and weigh it down with something heavy like a few food tins. Place in the fridge to cure for 3 days. Turn the sandwiched fillet over every day. Once cured, brush off the curing mix, rinse briefly in cold water and pat dry. Slice and place on a platter garnished with pretty edible elements like flowers, dill fronds, caper berries and radish.

Serve this with buttered dark seedloaf or rye. If you like, whip up a tangy dressing of crème fraiche, lemon juice, black pepper and chopped dill.

Recipe concept & photography by Lizet Hartley.

Lizet Hartley is a freelance stills and reel food stylist, food photographer and recipe developer. In her spare time she – rather predictably – cooks. Get more of her recipes on her blog at