Sloe Gin and Bramble Salmon Salad

Kirsten Gilmour

Kirsten Gilmour

7th February 2017
Kirsten Gilmour

Sloe Gin and Bramble Salmon Salad

A popular choice due to its versatile flavour, salmon is a delicious addition to any recipe. Put your culinary skills to the test with the following Sloe Gin and Bramble Salmon Salad recipe. Kirsten Gilmour is the owner and head chef at Aviemore’s Mountain Café. This recipe comes from her new book, The Mountain Café Cookbook: a Kiwi in the Cairngorms, which is published on 14th February. "Gin in a salad – it has to be a winner! The citrus and gin marinade gently cooks the raw salmon, and combines with a zingy dressing, earthy beetroot and juicy brambles for a fresh, light and subtle salad."


  • Serves 4
  • Easy
  • 35 minutes plus marinating time
  • For the sloe salmon:
  • 75ml gin
  • 100ml sloe gin
  • 75g frozen blackberries
  • 40g sugar
  • zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 75ml lemon juice
  • 5 sprigs dill, stalks removed, leaves finely chopped
  • 300g fresh salmon fillet, skinned, pin-boned and sliced into thin strips
  • 200g hot-smoked salmon, skinned and flaked
  • For the salad:
  • 3 beetroot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • ¾ cucumber, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 small fennel, super finely sliced
  • 1 packet cress, snipped
  • 4 spring onions, sliced into fine matchsticks
  • 150g fresh brambles
  • 50g pea shoots
  • 60g salad leaves washed
  • For the dressing:
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 50ml sloe gin
  • 50ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons caster sugar
  • 50ml olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper


• The sloe salmon needs at least four hours in the marinade so it cooks in the citrus. For the best results, leave it in overnight – it will be fine in the fridge for up to four days.• The dressing will keep for up to ten days in the fridge
.• Either slice your fennel at the last minute or lightly coat it in lemon juice to stop it going brown.
To make your sloe salmon marinade, place your gin, sloe gin, frozen blackberries and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium-high heat until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid has had a really good boil – about five to six minutes.
Take it off the heat and blend in a food processor until smooth, then sieve into a mixing bowl and discard all of the seeds and pulp left behind in the sieve. Add the orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice and dill and whisk, then gently put the fresh and smoked salmon pieces into the marinade.
Mix so all the pieces are well covered and leave in the fridge for at least four hours, preferably overnight.
Preheat your oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan). Put your beetroot in a small roasting tray with the olive oil and honey, season with salt and pepper and mix with your hands to make sure the slices are evenly coated. Roast until the beetroot is tender enough that a knife will go through the slices easily – roughly 20 minutes. Cover with tin foil and leave to cool.
To make the dressing, place your lime zest and lime juice in a small bowl with the sloe gin, red wine vinegar and sugar. Give it a whisk and keep whisking as you slowly drizzle in the olive oil. The dressing will seem a bit thin and will split as it sits – just give it another mix before using on your salad.
Now you just have to put everything together. Scoop all the salmon out of the juices and put into a large salad bowl.
Add your roasted beetroot along with the cucumber, fennel, cress, spring onion, brambles, pea shoots and salad leaves.
Drizzle over the dressing and season with salt and cracked black pepper, then gently but thoroughly toss with your hands. Serve immediately.

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