Credit: © Dennis Prescott

Late last year, I visited New York City, fork in hand, ready to eat at the city’s finest. Black Seed Bagels was high on my must-try list, and their beet-cured lox absolutely changed me.

This is my version of the brunch staple: beet-cured lox with whipped lemon dill ricotta. It may take a couple days in the fridge, but it couldn’t be easier to assemble, and it’s well worth the wait.

Beet-Cured Salmon with Whipped Lemon-Dill Ricotta

Serves 4-6

  • 1 pound fresh (not frozen) deboned salmon fillet
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup grated red beets
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill

Whipped Lemon-Dill Ricotta

  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon capers, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

To serve:

  • 4-6 everything bagels
  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Fresh dill, capers and lemons to serve

Place salmon in a large, deep pan. In a small bowl, mix together salt and sugar and rub over the top of salmon until fully covered. Top with grated beet, lemon and orange zest, again ensuring salmon is completely covered. Sprinkle salmon with dill.

Cover salmon with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to cure for 48 hours. You’ll know it’s done if the fish feels firm and looks cured in the center.

Remove from the fridge and scrape off the beet mixture. Rinse salmon under cold water to remove excess and pat dry with paper towels.

Whip ricotta and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Fold in chopped capers, dill and salt.

Finely slice salmon and serve with lemon-dill ricotta, sliced cucumbers and everything bagels.