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Salmon and Fennel

Grilled Salmon

1 fresh salmon fillet
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
olive oil
1 lemon

I have a ridged grill that sits over two burners on the hob. The grill should be sizzling hot so the salmon browns quickly, but not so hot that it burns.

A whole side of salmon, around 2 kg filletted and skinned, is ample for ten people. For smaller parties adjust quantities pro rata.

Lightly toast the fennel seeds in a hot skillet until they become aromatic. Grind the fennel, pepercorns and salt together in a mortar. Cut the salmon into ½''-2'' slices (1-5 cm thick). Thin slices will be well-done; thick slices will be seared with a rare pink centre. I like mine medium rare (3  cm). Sprinkle the mixture over the salmon. Turn with a ouple of forks so that all surfaces are lightly dusted with spice and salt. Cover with cling-film and put aside in a cool place for 12-24 hours.

Drain any liquid leached from the salmon by the salt. Drizzle with olive oil and toss again so that all surfaces are oiled. Cook quickly (a few minutes each side) until the salmon is nicely browned, turning each piece once.

Serve on a warmed platter with wedges of lemon.

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