Curing the salmon with beetroot transforms the flesh from orange to vibrant red. Smoky, tender salmon on a bed of fresh fennel and creamy labneh, topped with a bursting freshness of orange and pomegranate. Not only does this dish celebrate summer with its bright colours, it is the perfect dish to be enjoyed on a hot summer night.
Prepare this recipe the day before: In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, grated beetroot and orange zest. Lay the salmon, skin side down, flat into a glass or ceramic dish. Cover the flesh with the beetroot mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 7 to 8 hours.
Soak two handfuls of wood chips in water for 30 minutes, we used Weber Firespice Cherry Wood Chips. Prepare your premium gas barbecue for indirect cooking over low heat (130°C-150°C) with a universal smoker box. Drain and add half of the wood chips to the smoker box and close the lid. Preheat with the burner under the smoker box on high, until smoke appears.
Related Grill Skills
Indirect Heat on a Premium Gas Barbecue
Prepare the charcoal barbecue for indirect cooking over low heat (130°C-150°C). Add one wood chunk to the charcoal, we used Weber Firespice Cherry Wood Chunks.
Prepare your barbecue for indirect cooking over low heat (130°C- 150°C). If you are using a Weber SmokeFire, set the temperature to 130°C and preheat.
Remove the salmon from the fridge, rinse under cold running water and pat dry with paper towel. Lay the salmon on a sheet of baking paper. Lightly coat the salmon with olive oil.
Once smoke appears adjust the burner to low and continue cooking at indirect low heat. Roast the salmon over indirect low heat, with the lid closed, for 50 minutes to 1 ¼ hours, until it is firm to touch or has a golden patina. Thirty minutes into the cooking time, add the remaining wood chips to the smoker box.
Brush the cooking grills clean. Place the salmon in the centre of the cooking grill, in-between the two charcoal baskets. Roast the salmon over indirect low heat, with the lid closed, for 50 minutes to 1 ¼ hours, until it is firm to touch or has a golden patina. If desired, 30 minutes into the cooking time, add an additional wood chunk to the charcoal.
Once your barbecue has preheated to the set temperature (SmokeFire: 130°C), brush the cooking grills clean with a wire brush. Roast the salmon over indirect low heat, with the lid closed, for 50 minutes to 1 ¼ hours, until it is firm to touch or has a golden patina
While the salmon is cooking, prepare the labneh; in a medium bowl, mix all the Sumac Labneh ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. It should taste sour from the lemon and creamy. Set aside until required.
Once the salmon has cooked, remove from the barbecue and leave to rest for 20 minutes. Slide the salmon onto a serving platter, discarding the baking paper.
Serving option one:Appetisers:
Add ½ a teaspoonful of the labneh onto a corn chip, top with small amount of shaved fennel, a piece of flaked salmon, 3 pieces of orange and garnish with a fennel frond.
Alternatively, spoon the labneh onto a plate, scatter with the shaved fennel, flakes of salmon, orange pieces and pomegranate. Garnish with fennel fronds.
Tip 1: Labneh is available in the yoghurt/cheese section of major supermarkets, Foodlands or cheese mongers. Alternatively, it can be made at home by straining natural yoghurt in cheesecloth.
Tip 2: The salmon and labneh can be cooked the day before your event. Simply assemble all together when you are ready to serve.