Beetroot Cured Salmon with Finger Lime, Horseradish Labna and Buckwheat Lavosh

The last few months haven’t been easy for me. All of a sudden I had found myself in a completely new living environment, new job (that I didn’t really like), missing my mates and social life back in Newcastle, and feeling overall, a little bewildered at the huge changes. It was weird considering I find it so easy to travel to remote countries alone, meet new people and seek out new experiences. I think it was because I knew deep down that this is going to be my life for a good while now, not just a stepping stone to the next overseas adventure.
I’ve now come to realise that this IS a new adventure, it just doesn’t involve as many plane trips or passport stamps. I’m finally starting to gain the courage to admit what I really want. And I think this place may just help me to accomplish my goals.
With an open heart and mind I have now found myself in a new job, with beautiful, encouraging, and motivating people, who, after only one week, I feel so grateful to be a part of their business and excited for their future and mine.
I love the focus on local produce up here and the sense of sharing. Last Friday two people came in with gifts from their farms, including some beautiful finger limes. My mind immediately started racing with what I could do with them. Not surprisingly, after another 38 degree day, I firstly thought of an icy cold gin and tonic, topped with the little bursting finger lime vesicles and some juniper berries. After daydreaming about that for a while I then remembered this salmon dish that I made at Christmas, a recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver. The flavours worked perfectly together and I was also so happy with how the labna and lavosh turned out. It all looks very fancy and complicated but in fact is very easy, especially if you skip making your own lavosh and just buy some.
There were Hot Cross Buns in the supermarket the other day, so let’s just say I’m getting in here early with the perfect Easter recipe for you all.dsc_1454 dsc_1531 dsc_1537


You will need to start this recipe 48hrs in advance

Serves 6 as an entree



800g side salmon, pin boned, skin off

2 fresh beetroot, peeled and chopped

Juice of 2 limes

Juice of 2 lemons

3 juniper berries, bashed

5 tbs rock salt

2 tbs raw sugar

50ml gin


500g natural, thick greek yoghurt

1 tsp salt

1 clove garlic, finely grated

1 tsp finely grated fresh horseradish

Buckwheat Lavosh

1 tbs raw sugar

100g buckwheat

300g plain flour

30g butter, cubed

1 tsp salt plus extra

2 tsp fennel seeds

150g water

2 egg whites

To serve

3 finger limes, vesicles removed

4 baby cucumbers, thinly sliced

Bunch baby radishes, finely sliced

Baby herbs


Start the labna 48hrs prior to serving.

To make the labna, in a large bowl, combine the yoghurt, salt, garlic and horseradish and stir well to combine. Place in a colander lined with a double layer of cheesecloth, over a large bowl. Bring the edges of the cheesecloth together and twist to wrap the yoghurt tightly. Place 2 or 3 tins of beans (or whatever) on top and place in the fridge to set.

Start curing the salmon 24hrs prior to serving.

To cure the salmon, place all the ingredients, except the salmon, in a food processor and process until smooth.

Place the salmon in a baking dish and pour over the beetroot cure. Spread it evenly to coat both sides of the salmon.

Place a piece of baking paper over the salmon and tuck in snuggly around the salmon. Cover tightly with a double layer of cling wrap and place in the fridge for 24hours. No longer.

For the buckwheat lavosh, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius  and line 3 to 4 baking trays with baking paper.

Combine the flours, sugar, salt and fennel seeds in a bowl. Add the butter and use finger tips to rub into the flour.

Add the water and 1 of the egg whites and stir to bring together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

Cut the dough into 12 pieces and use a pasta machine to roll until 2mm thick (or use a rolling pin).

Place on to prepared trays and brush with the remaining egg white and sprinkle with a little cracked salt.

Bake, in batches, for about 20mins, or until golden and crisp (keep and eye on it!)

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

When ready to serve, remove the salmon from the cure and gently wash off any excess with as little water as possible.

Remove the labna from the cheesecloth and put into a serving bowl.

Thinly slice the salmon across the grain and arrange on a serving platter along with the radish, cucumber, baby herbs and finger lime vesicles. Serve alongside the lavosh and labna.




Mango and Ginger Chilli Sauce

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We’re back on the east coast at the moment and man is it good. There’s nothing like a few months in the outback to make you realise how lucky we are to have grown up here. Our first dip in the ocean after a late night flight from Darwin and a long drive from Brisbane was pure bliss. To me there is nothing like the cool, salty waves of the ocean here; a far cry from the warm, stagnant, croc infested waters of the outback.

So far we’ve had lots of festive family times, which means lots of eating and drinking. Lucky there is a nice long stretch of beach here to run along every morning.

I handed out a few jars of this Mango and Ginger Chilli Sauce as early Christmas presents; feeling quite chuffed with myself at my handmade gifts. Little did I know that this family is famous for their preserve making and it will no doubt, be highly critiqued. Well, at least I know we enjoyed the jar we kept for ourselves. I finished it within a couple of days with all the seafood I’ve been getting from my new job at the seafood market down at Fisherman’s Wharf in Darwin. It’s tart and quite hot if made to this recipe, but you can use as little or as much chilli as you want. It’s also slightly sweet but nothing like a sweet chilli sauce, which I find is usually so sweet that it overpowers any other flavours in a meal. I love this sauce with prawns, but it’s also great with other seafood and fish, or even chicken.

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1kg mango flesh, from about 6 fresh or you can use frozen

3 brown onion, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbs grated ginger

3 limes, juiced

Juice of 1 lemon

6 small red chillies, chopped

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

4 tbs vinegar ( I used coconut vinegar, but you could use any)

About 1 cup water

Salt and Vinegar


Process all ingredients together in a food processor.

Put mixture in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium low heat, stirring often. Cover and cook, stirring every so often, but be careful as it will spit. Continue to cook for about half an hour adding the water as you go to get to a desired consistency (I used the whole cup)

Push mixture through a sieve and pour into sterilised jars (Thanks… . )

Sauce will keep for months if sterilised properly but keep in the fridge once opened.