(Serves six as a light meal or starter. Prep and cooking time: 20 minutes plus overnight curing.)
For the gravadlax:
• 400-600 g fresh trout fillets, skin on
• 2 small beetroots, peeled and quartered
• 1 cup muscavado sugar
• 1 cup salt, medium grain
For the creamy horseradish sauce:
• 250 ml sour cream
• 2 tablespoons hot horseradish sauce (or 1 tablespoon fresh grated horseradish)
• 5 ml Dijon mustard (optional)
• crackers of your choice, or seed loaf
• baby gem lettuce (optional)
Use a tweezer to pin-bone the fillets, if they are not already pin-boned.
Place the beetroot in a food processor along with the sugar and salt. Process to create a course paste. Place a sheet of cling-wrap on a clean surface, then sprinkle 1/3 of the mixture onto it. Place half of the fillets on the paste, skin side down. Top with another 1/3 of the mixture and spread it out to cover the surface of the fillets. Now place the remaining half of the fillets on top of the covered fillets, skin side up (so they are lying meat-side together). Top with the final mixture, then with another layer of plastic wrap. Wrap up tightly and place inside a large-enough plastic container with a lid. Refrigerate overnight or for 12 hours, turning it over after 6 hours. The sugar/salt/beetroot curing mix will create a sticky syrup, so be careful not to mess it on your clothes.
When the curing time is up, open up the fillets and rinse them under cold running water. Pat dry. Use a sharp knife to cut thin slivers on an angle from the tail side to the top, creating as much surface area as you can. Arrange on a platter and serve with the sauce and the crackers/bread/leaves.
For the sauce: mix the sour cream, horseradish and mustard together in a small bowl.
Serve with a glass of Spier Frans K Smit white blend.
About the wine:
This Bordeaux-style white blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Sémillon offers harmoniously balanced, subtly articulated flavours. A discernable citrus and lime palate ̶ more tropical than herbaceous - and surprising hints of elder flower. The herbaceousness is more prominent on the nose than on the palate. After decanting, a touch of vanilla rises up through the layers. With aging, this vanilla is likely to fade into the background. While already intriguingly complex, the 2015 vintage promises to become increasingly layered over the next 4-5 years.