Citrus-Cured Salmon

Peter Ireland

Carpenter & Main Restaurant, Norwich, VT

A simple and sure-fire way to impress guests at your next brunch or cocktail party, this cured salmon is the perfect accompaniment for everything from pumpernickel toast points to buckwheat blini. Peter Ireland served thin slices of his sweet and savory gravlax with lemon marmalade during the hors d'oeuvre reception of his Beard House dinner.


  • 1 (3-pound) wild salmon fillet, skin on, pinbones removed
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup cognac
  • Zest of 2 limes, chopped
  • Zest of 1 orange, chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon, chopped


Line a rimmed baking sheet pan with plastic wrap. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, salt, cognac, lime zest, orange zest, and lemon zest. Sprinkle one quarter of this mixture on the prepared baking sheet in the shape of the fillet. Score the salmon skin with a sharp knife and lay the fillet skin side down on top of the brown sugar mixture. Spread the rest of the mixture on top of the fillet, using less on the thinner, tapered portion of the fillet. Cover the fish with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the flesh is firm, about 2 days.

To serve, slice the salmon thinly on the bias. Store the fish in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly, for up to 1 week.


One 3-pound salmon fillet