This simple elegant dish is from celebrity chef Luke Mangan's new book, Salt Grill - Fine Dining for the Whole Family (Murdoch Books $59.99). Mangan opened his first Salt restaurant in Sydney in 1999 and there are now many Salt and Salt Grill restaurants worldwide. Salt Grill brings together the signature dishes from these restaurants, alongside Luke's personal favourites. "Sharing is what my new book is all about and many of the recipes are designed to be shared in ways that we in Australia have incorporated into our own way of eating," he says.
- rock salt - 160g (1/2 cup)
- soft brown sugar - 100g (1/2 cup)
- fresh salmon - 400g piece
- cognac - 50ml
- extra virgin olive oil - for drizzling
- fresh dill - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
- goat's curd - 4 tablespoons
- Asparagus & Orange Salad
- oranges - 2
- extra virgin olive oil - 100ml
- asparagus spears - 16
- roasted hazelnuts - 50g, peeled and roughly chopped
- parsley leaves - 1/2 cup, picked and washed
- tarragon leaves - 4 tablespoons, picked and washed
- baby chard or baby beetroot leaves - 250g punnet
Mix the rock salt and sugar in a bowl. Skin the salmon, removing any brown skin on the sides, as
well as any bones. Place the salmon on a flat tray, pour the cognac over and rub it into the flesh. Rub both sides of the salmon with the salt and sugar mix. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator for two hours to cure.
Rinse the salmon with water, then pat dry with paper towels. Place the salmon on a clean tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Scatter the dill over the fish and press it on with your fingers. Very thinly slice the salmon using a sharp knife and set aside.
For the Asparagus and Orange Salad:
Remove the skins from the oranges using a sharp knife, also discarding the bitter white piths. Cut the oranges into segments, releasing them from their membranes, and removing the seeds as you go.
For the dressing, squeeze any orange juice from the discarded piths and skin into a bowl, then whisk in the olive oil. If you don’t have enough juice, take one of the orange segments and squeeze the juice in. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
Half-fill a saucepan with water and add a little sea salt. Bring to a simmer, add the asparagus and blanch for 2 minutes.
Remove and cool in an iced-water bath, then drain on paper towels and pat dry. Add the asparagus to the orange segments, along with the hazelnuts and herbs. Add most of the orange dressing and toss well to combine.
Lay the salmon slices on four serving plates. Add three dollopsof the goat’s curd to each plate.Arrange the salad over the top, drizzle with the remaining orange dressing and serve.