Marinated Salmon with Fennel and Dill Salad

Lightened by the refreshing flavours of dill, lemon and fennel, Curtis Stone's marinated salmon makes a luxurious starter
By Curtis Stone
Marinated Salmon with Fennel and Dill Salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes plus 24 hrs chilling and marinating
  • Effort: medium



  • finely grated zest of 1 lemons
  • finely grated zest of 1 limes
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, green part trimmed, cut into chunks
  • 2 large bunches of dill, leaves picked
  • 1kg side of fresh salmon
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp plus 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 125 ml water
  • 1 large bulb fennel
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard


1. Put the lemon and lime zest, onion, leek and a small handful of the dill in a food processor and whiz to a smooth paste.

2. Spread the paste evenly over the salmon - this marinade will partially cook the salmon and help draw out any moisture. Cover with cling film Place a couple of food cans or heavy weights in a large dish and use to weigh down the salmon and encourage the flavours to penetrate. Chill for 24 hours.

3. Heat the caster sugar, white wine vinegar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar has dissolved.

4. Meanwhile, thinly slice the fennel. Put in a bowl and toss with a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Toss with a small handful of the dill, then pour over the hot vinegar syrup. Set aside until completely cool.

5. Rinse the salmon and pat dry with kitchen paper. Spread the cut side evenly with the mustard. Sprinkle over the remaining dill, pressing it into the mustard to coat.

6. Working from the tail end and using a sharp knife with a narrow flexible blade, slice the salmon very thinly - you should be able to see the blade of the knife through the flesh. Arrange the slices on a serving plate.

7. Strain the juices from the fennel, and pile into the centre of the plate.

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