The last few months haven’t been easy for me. All of a sudden I had found myself in a completely new living environment, new job (that I didn’t really like), missing my mates and social life back in Newcastle, and feeling overall, a little bewildered at the huge changes. It was weird considering I find it so easy to travel to remote countries alone, meet new people and seek out new experiences. I think it was because I knew deep down that this is going to be my life for a good while now, not just a stepping stone to the next overseas adventure.
I’ve now come to realise that this IS a new adventure, it just doesn’t involve as many plane trips or passport stamps. I’m finally starting to gain the courage to admit what I really want. And I think this place may just help me to accomplish my goals.
With an open heart and mind I have now found myself in a new job, with beautiful, encouraging, and motivating people, who, after only one week, I feel so grateful to be a part of their business and excited for their future and mine.
I love the focus on local produce up here and the sense of sharing. Last Friday two people came in with gifts from their farms, including some beautiful finger limes. My mind immediately started racing with what I could do with them. Not surprisingly, after another 38 degree day, I firstly thought of an icy cold gin and tonic, topped with the little bursting finger lime vesicles and some juniper berries. After daydreaming about that for a while I then remembered this salmon dish that I made at Christmas, a recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver. The flavours worked perfectly together and I was also so happy with how the labna and lavosh turned out. It all looks very fancy and complicated but in fact is very easy, especially if you skip making your own lavosh and just buy some.
There were Hot Cross Buns in the supermarket the other day, so let’s just say I’m getting in here early with the perfect Easter recipe for you all.
You will need to start this recipe 48hrs in advance
Serves 6 as an entree
800g side salmon, pin boned, skin off
2 fresh beetroot, peeled and chopped
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 2 lemons
3 juniper berries, bashed
5 tbs rock salt
2 tbs raw sugar
500g natural, thick greek yoghurt
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, finely grated
1 tsp finely grated fresh horseradish
1 tbs raw sugar
300g plain flour
30g butter, cubed
1 tsp salt plus extra
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 egg whites
3 finger limes, vesicles removed
4 baby cucumbers, thinly sliced
Bunch baby radishes, finely sliced
Start the labna 48hrs prior to serving.
To make the labna, in a large bowl, combine the yoghurt, salt, garlic and horseradish and stir well to combine. Place in a colander lined with a double layer of cheesecloth, over a large bowl. Bring the edges of the cheesecloth together and twist to wrap the yoghurt tightly. Place 2 or 3 tins of beans (or whatever) on top and place in the fridge to set.
Start curing the salmon 24hrs prior to serving.
To cure the salmon, place all the ingredients, except the salmon, in a food processor and process until smooth.
Place the salmon in a baking dish and pour over the beetroot cure. Spread it evenly to coat both sides of the salmon.
Place a piece of baking paper over the salmon and tuck in snuggly around the salmon. Cover tightly with a double layer of cling wrap and place in the fridge for 24hours. No longer.
For the buckwheat lavosh, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line 3 to 4 baking trays with baking paper.
Combine the flours, sugar, salt and fennel seeds in a bowl. Add the butter and use finger tips to rub into the flour.
Add the water and 1 of the egg whites and stir to bring together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
Cut the dough into 12 pieces and use a pasta machine to roll until 2mm thick (or use a rolling pin).
Place on to prepared trays and brush with the remaining egg white and sprinkle with a little cracked salt.
Bake, in batches, for about 20mins, or until golden and crisp (keep and eye on it!)
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
When ready to serve, remove the salmon from the cure and gently wash off any excess with as little water as possible.
Remove the labna from the cheesecloth and put into a serving bowl.
Thinly slice the salmon across the grain and arrange on a serving platter along with the radish, cucumber, baby herbs and finger lime vesicles. Serve alongside the lavosh and labna.