|Fish starters in their simplest format work well as light lunches, but can easily be dressed up for a dinner-party starter course.
- Weigh the salmon to prepare for the cure. The sugar and salt combined in equal quantities should be 50% of the weight of your fish.
- Remove the pin bones from the salmon and score the skin in 4 places to allow the cure to be absorbed.
- Wash, peel and roughly chop the beetroot.
- Peel the zest from the orange and reserve, then halve the fruit and squeeze the juice.
- Put the sugar and salt into a food processor. Add the beetroot, tea leaves and dill with the orange zest and juice, and blend to a fine pulp. Lay the salmon skin-side down in a shallow ceramic dish and cover completely with the cure mixture. Cover the dish with cling film and leave the salmon to cure for 4 days in the fridge, turning the fish and basting it with the cure mixture after 2 days.
- When the curing time is up, scrape the cure off the salmon and lift the fish out of the dish. Rinse the remaining cure away under cold running water, then pat the fish dry with a cloth – the flesh will be bright red and firm to the touch.
- Starting at the wider end of the salmon, slice thinly with a sharp knife angled slightly towards the opposite end of the fish, stopping just before you get to the skin. I then lay these slices on a plate (allowing 6 slices per person) and accompany them with sourdough bread and pots of goodies like caper berries and pickled beetroot.