Recipe: Dill, beetroot and citrus-cured trout

Delicious and light to serve as a shared starter, this dish also works wonderfully for supper on a balmy evening. With La Motte being situated in the Franschhoek Valley, we suggest Franschhoek trout, but any firm fish can be used – fresh water trout, small mullets, yellow tail, etc.

Curing fish is a very old tradition with its origin in Persian and Arabic cooking – also the foundation of our culinary heritage. Curing it in beetroot gives the dish an intense colour, with the typical light pink of trout showing when the fish is carved. Served cold with salad ingredients such as micro herbs and mini beets and a glass of 2020 La Motte Sauvignon Blanc.

Recipe for dill, beetroot and citrus-cured trout

Serves 6 – 8


1,2 kg fresh salmon or salmon trout, pin boned, skin on

220 g golden brown sugar

15 g Maldon salt

40 g chopped dill

Zest of 3 lemons

50 ml brandy

10 g crushed black pepper

6 whole allspice, crushed

1 kg beetroot, peeled and grated


Mix together the sugar, allspice, salt, brandy, dill, lemon zest and beetroot.

Spread cling wrap onto a flat surface, place the salmon trout, with the flesh upward, onto the cling wrap. Spread the cure mixture evenly over the fish and enclose with the cling wrap.

The salmon can now be rewrapped with foil to prevent liquid seeping out.

Place on a tray in the fridge and leave for approximately 2 days, depending on the thickness of the fillet.

When ready, remove the fillet from the wrapping, scrape off excess cure mixture and gently wipe the surface with a clean kitchen cloth.

Remove the salmon skin with a sharp knife, starting at the tail end and working your way down to the opposite end.

Carve into thin strips and serve with crisp salad.

Chef’s note:

Remember to remove the dark blood line.

Wine recommendation: A crisp white wine such as the 2020 La Motte Sauvignon Blanc is a wonderful aperitif – especially in warm weather – and a lovely partner to the cured trout.

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