Mild and smooth, yet full of flavors, this salmon is made to melt in your mouth. It truly stands on its own and can be served warm or cold, but here I am serving it with forbidden black rice, fresh dill and olives.

For a last minute version, skip the pre-curing and simply poach the fresh salmon in olive oil.

champagne cured salmon

1½-2 pounds fresh salmon
1 bunch roughly chopped fresh dill
¼ cup champagne
¼ cup palm sugar
2 tablespoons Himalayan salt
¼ cup yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon pepper corns


Mix the cure – all ingredients except salmon – and pour it into a glass container or plastic bag.

Skin and clean the salmon, cut it into four pieces and add them to the cure. Turn to coat all sides and leave in the refrigerator for 24 hours, turning at least once.

Rinse and let dry just before poaching.

olive oil poached salmon

1½-2 pounds salmon (fresh or cured from above)
1 bottle olive oil (or just enough to cover salmon)
½ cup black cured olives
small bunch fresh dill
1 tablespoon green pepper corns


Pour olive oil into an oven safe pan just large enough to fit the pre-cured salmon and add olives, dill and pepper corns.

Preheat oven to 150F/65C and preheat the olive oil to 120F/50C. Use an instant read, oven termometer to check.

Quickly remove the pan from the oven to gently add the salmon. Return the pan to the oven and as soon as the temperature is back at 120F/50C, time it to cook for an additional 8 minutes.

Let salmon cool slightly on an oven rack before serving.

Serves 4.

Photography by Philip Blankenship.