To learn more about this recipe, see our related feature, Rock the Block, in our National edition.
Salt Block Gravlax
Recipe adapted from Salted, by Mark Bitterman (Ten Speed Press)
Yield: 8 servings
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons finely ground white pepper
½ teaspoon whole coriander seeds
½ teaspoon ground mustard powder
One 1-pound well-marbled salmon fillet (with skin), pin bones removed
1 bunch fresh dill
1. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, white pepper, coriander seeds and ground mustard. Set the salmon fillet on a cutting board and pat the spice mixture onto the top of the salmon.
2. Set a salt block on the cutting board. Cover the block with half of the dill and set the salmon on the block. Cover the top of the salmon with the remaining dill sprigs and set the other salt block on top. Tightly wrap the salmon and salt block "sandwich" in several layers of plastic wrap, completely enclosing so it is airtight.
3. Set the salt block on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 day and up to 3 days (thin, wild salmon fillets will take less time, while thick, farmed salmon fillets take longer).
4. Unwrap and rinse the spices off the salmon. Pat dry and place on a cutting board. Starting at the wider end, thinly slice the salmon on a bias. Serve with dark bread, crème fraîche and chives.