“This is one of those dishes that are impressive yet easy to make,” says San Francisco chef Traci Des Jardins. A big hunk of salmon on a platter (with some dill fronds around the sides as garnish) is a beautiful sight. Serve it on toast as canapés, by itself as an appetizer, or in a salad. It takes 24 hours to prepare, but for most of that time the fish is just sitting in the refrigerator.
What to buy: Try to avoid farm-raised salmon from the Atlantic; instead go for Alaskan wild salmon. And see our guide to types of salmon for more on the different varieties of the fish.
Game plan: The salmon will hold up for 4 or 5 days once it’s cured.
You can use our home-cured salmon in any recipe that calls for smoked salmon. Here are a few of our favorites: Heirloom Pea Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche, Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches, and Smoked Salmon and Mozzarella Calzone.
The salmon is also great served simply: over a salad, scrambled into eggs with a little sour cream and chives, or topping your favorite schmear. Or try serving it straight up, paired with Marinated Potatoes and Fennel.