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James Martin's beetroot and gin cured salmon

James is back with another delicious recipe for the family this Christmas. His beetroot & gin cured salmon is the ideal festive treat to make now and keep for the big day. He's serving it freshly sliced, with a dollop of lemon mayonnaise and crispy sourdough bread. 

James Martin's Gin and Beetroot Cured Salmon

Serves: 8 - 10


200g table salt

200g caster sugar

2 cooked beetroots

1 side salmon, pin boned and belly removed

50ml gin

For the lemon mayonnaise: 

3 egg yolks

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

200ml vegetable oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:


Brown bread and butter


1. Put the beetroot, salt and sugar into a large food processor, and blitz until smooth.

2. Line a large tray with cling film, doing several layers and pour half of the beetroot mixture into the tray. Making sure the beetroot is spread over the tray, top with the salmon and cover the top side with the remaining mixture. Wrap tightly in cling film and leave in the fridge for 24 hours.

3. Remove the cling film and rinse under cold running water to wash away the remaining beetroot mix; pat the salmon dry with a tea-towel and sprinkle with the gin. 

4. To make the lemon mayonnaise, whisk the egg yolks and mustard and slowly drizzle in the oil until thick, mix in the lemon juice and season to taste.

5. To serve - thinly slice the salmon, and layer onto a plate with a dollop of the lemon mayonnaise, a plush of watercress and bread and butter on the side.

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