Colour me healthy
These colourful Scandinavian-inspired dishes are full of punchy flavours and they’re good for you, too, writes DOMINI KEMP
They are very cute, little green vegetables that look like Brussels sprouts, but with a sort of purple and green afro hairstyle. Just trim the bottom of them and roast with a lick of olive oil and rock salt. They really liven up any winter plate and are very good for you.
Due to erratic comings and goings over Christmas, I ended up having two big, thick pieces of raw salmon fillet left over one evening. I threw them into the freezer knowing full well that, in two years’ time, I would eventually find them and have to throw them in the bin.
However, during a rare afternoon of good housekeeping, I managed to make some room in the freezer by getting rid of the usual hodge-podge of unidentifiable bits of food wrapped in unending sheaths of clingfilm.
When I stumbled upon the salmon, wrapped up tight in proper disposable foil containers, it was clear that things were looking up. I decided to make some gravadlax, as we had tasted some really delicious stuff in Justin and Jenny Green’s lovely Ballyvolane House in Co Cork between Christmas and New Year.
When you haven’t had gravadlax in a while, you forget how deliciously simple – or if you’ll allow me to borrow a phrase – simply delicious it is.
Freezing the salmon seemed to have been a good thing to do, even if it wasn’t done intentionally. Some research suggests that it kills any parasites that may be present in the fish.
Anyway, conscious that this is the month for health and well-being, I tried to find an alternative to white or brown sugar to use and fell upon coconut sugar, which was recommended to me by my nutritionist friend, Susan Jane White.
It is still sugar, but it seems to be less refined and slightly better for you (and I do mean slightly) than regular sugar, so I decided to give it a go and it worked well, imparting a deeper flavour than regular brown sugar.
Instead of the usual dill and mustard sauce accompaniment (which is a sort of loose mayonnaise and really tasty), I made a lovely avocado aioli that was lightened up with lots of Dijon mustard and lemon juice and a clove or two of garlic.
It was wonderful with the salmon and also with the beetroot soup. In fact, one swirl of this aioli livened up everything no end.
These dishes may be perfect for January’s requirements to get back in shape, but they are so full of flavour that they would be a welcome addition to the table at any time of the year.
2 big pieces of salmon fillet with skin on (approx 600g each)
100g flakey sea salt (any good Irish one, or Maldon)
150g coconut sugar (or 100g soft brown sugar)
Big bunch dill
If you can, freeze the salmon for a few days and then defrost it in the fridge and get going. If you aren’t able to freeze it, the salt will kill off anything in there anyway, so don’t fret.