Photograph by Joseph De Leo Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis


Amuse-Bouche from Issue 2 – Fall / Winter 2013 – Traces

The traditional Nordic dish that sounds like something sprung from middle earth does have origins underground. Its name—“grav” means grave, “lax”, salmon—hints at its original preparation: in the Middle Ages Swedish fishermen would salt and bury their catch by the shore to cure it. Ours uses arctic char, coriander and loads of fresh dill, before being “buried” in the fridge.

serves 10 to 12

  • 1 Tbsp white peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seeds, crushed
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ lb piece arctic char fillet
  • 1 bunch dill, rinsed, well dried, and coarsely chopped

  • 1

    Stir together peppercorns, coriander seeds, salt and sugar. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and sprinkle with about one third of the mixture. Lay fish on top, skin side down, then sprinkle with remaining mixture and scatter with dill. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in a shallow baking pan. Place another pan on top and weigh it down with a heavy skillet or a couple of large cans.

  • 2

    Refrigerate for two days, turning fish over about every 12 hours. (There’ll be some seeping juices.) Discard dill and any larger pieces of coriander or pepper and store covered in fresh wrap without weighting. To serve, cut fish from skin in very thin slices.