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Beetroot & Cucumber Pickle for Irish Smoked Salmon

This is a wee twist in the style of the classic Herring Rollmop. We have Irish Smoked Salmon wrapped around a sweet & sharp and peppery fresh herb pickle. I think it compliments the woody flavour of a good smoked salmon without being overpowering.

My Ingredients:

1 fresh Beetroot
Splash of Vinegar (malt, pickling etc – your choice)

500g finely sliced onions
1 clove garlic diced
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
40g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp honey
100ml white wine
35ml white wine vinegar
Rock (sea) Salt & Black Pepper

50cm (about 2 inches long) of Cucumber !
½ tsp chopped fresh coriander

My Method:

Place the beetroot (skin on) in a wee pot of water, enough to just cover it. Add a splash of plain vinegar to the water and this will stop the beetroot from ‘bleeding’ its colour too much.
Bring to the boil and cook for 30-40 minutes. When the skin moves loose to the touch, it is ready to come out. Peel under running cold water to keep your hands from turning pink!
Slice thinly and leave to cool.

Half the onions and slice them with the grain, that is to follow the lines, to give them extra strength in the cooking. This helps to keep them in better shape for this type of recipe.

Melt the butter and the oil together in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Tip in the onions with the wholegrain mustard and garlic and give them a good stir so they are glossed with butter. Spoon in the honey and twist in some sea salt and black pepper. Pour in the white wine and wine vinegar.

Cook for another few minutes stirring, until the liquid is almost gone but the mixture is still wet. Spread on a plate to cool. Unlike when you are making an onion marmalade, you don’t want to overcook the onions or let them go too soft. You really want to simply ‘take the raw’ out of them!

Take the slices of beetroot and slice them into little slivers (called “Julienne” by the trade!). Slice the Cucumber into the same kind of slivers. I keep the skin on the cucumber for an extra bit of crunch. Add these into the onion mix.

Finally add the chopped fresh coriander and toss the whole lot together lightly.

OK. Take a slice of delicious Irish smoked salmon and put a good teaspoonful of the pickle in the centre. Roll it up tightly. With a sharp knife cut along the centre to make two pieces and present them ‘cut-side’ up. Serve them with real homemade bread and wedges of lime.

Oops! I just realised I didn't dress the salad for the picture!! Erm.. sorry - but it's most definitely gone now! Well I hope you enjoy it - the pickle works good with country style pate too.

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