Fresh salmon is cured in kosher salt and shredded beets, resulting in a gorgeous piece of pink-ringed fish. The beets impart only a very slight flavor, but the color is worth the extra step. Keep in mind that the thickness of your salmon fillet will greatly affect how long it will need to cure— be careful not to overdo it. If your fillet is smaller than 2 pounds, decrease the curing time.
Yield: 2 pounds / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 2–3 days
Line a rimmed baking sheet with enough cheesecloth to fully wrap the piece of salmon, plus some.
Spread half of the beets on the cheesecloth in the same shape and size as the salmon. Mix the salt and sugar together, and then spread half of it on top of the beets.
Lay the salmon piece on the beet, sugar, and salt pile, and tuck in any extra extending past the salmon— you want to make sure the entire bottom of the salmon is in contact with the layers under it.
Top the salmon with the remaining salt and sugar mix, and then the remaining beets. Wrap the cheesecloth firmly around everything, and then wrap it all with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for 24-36 hours before testing one end. The salmon should have a full ring of pink around the outside and taste slightly salty.