Carrot Smoked Salmon w Dill Blinis
Fish is probably the hardest thing to veganifye. The texture is just too unique and say... oily(?!) to be able to accurately recreate (for a fillet of fish at least). When you go completely vegan your taste buds adjust, meat and fish is a seriously rich food you cut out that you no longer have the same taste for, and so chickpea tuna salad and artichoke crab cakes are a jolly-good substitute. But the matter of real-fish like mock-meats remains and that's when the matter of smoked salmon has probably popped across your mind as something you had in your pre-vegan era. It's pretty popular and in a lot of breakfast spreads and bagel fillings that cafes generally feature, so most of us probably have or had a taste for it.
But I cannot tell you how crazy-similar this is honeybunches. It's actually almost spot on. Apart from the look being obviously carrot looking, the taste, texture and colour foolery that goes on is so mind blowingly convincing you'll have a hard time knocking it. Then when you pair it with a blini with some vegan cream cheese or on a bagel or even on top of a rosti stack (!!!!) - ok getting excited about all the vegan doors this opens, but heck it's AMAZING!!!
Just read the full recipe through before starting honeybunches, know that it's 99.99% setting and forgetting and 0.01% hands on - and be prepared to never look at carrots the same way!!
Bear in mind the carrot smoked salmon takes 24 hours to marinade.
- 3 large/6 medium carrots
- 1 kg rock salt (or any salt that has a chunky texture to it)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp tamari
- 1 cup self-raising flour (serve with some nice GF bread for a GF options)
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- handful fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1 lemon cheek, juiced
- 1 cup plant mylk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- dribble maple syrup
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil (or vegan butter/light flavoured oil)
- to serve:: vegan cream cheese, lemon juice, red onion, capers, more fresh dill if you desire.
- Pre-heat your oven to 190C.
- Grab your carrots and a loaf tin. Put a layer of rock salt on the bottom of the pan (1 cm or so) then wash your carrots so they are wet. Place some of the carrots (you may need to do two layers) on top of the salt so they are not touching the sides or ends of the pan (touching each other is ok). Cover with salt and repeat the process adding another layer if you can fit it in. Once you have fit as many carrots as you can into your pan and covered them completely with salt, pop in the oven to cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- When their time is up, leave to cool for about 15 minutes minimum before turning out the contents onto a tray (it may need some encouraging with a knife being run around the edge of the tin). Gently (yet effectively) smash the rock salt apart to expose the carrots, remove them and set aside.
- Wash the carrots clean of salt, top and tail them, peel them (if you can - this can be rather tricky, but an ok job can be achieved), then slice thinly on the diagonal and set aside.
- Make the marinade by mixing the olive oil, liquid smoke, red wine vinegar, dill and tamari together until smooth in a air tight container big enough to hold your carrot slices. Add the carrots to the marinade, gently toss with the lid on to cover them completely, then place in the fridge for 24 hours minimum to develop in flavour. Toss them gently again at least once in this time.
- To make the Blinis: on the day of serving make the blinis fresh by mixing the self-raising flour, buckwheat, baking powder and dill together in a large bowl.
- Make a faux buttermilk by mixing the plant mylk with the vinegar and letting sit for a minute or two. The add the lemon, maple syrup and oil, stirring to combine. Add this wet mixture to the flour mixture and whisk together into a thick batter. If too runny, add some more self-raising flour.
- Cook in a non-stick pan in a little vegan butter or oil, with a tbsp or so of mixture at a time. When bubble appear, flip and cook on the other wise until very lightly golden. They are pretty quick to cook.
- Serve your smoked salmon on the belinis (or on a bagel is really nice too) with some vegan smoked salmon, red onion, capers, lemon juice and more dill if you so desire. Or alternatively serve the smoked salmon however you like, such as on a potato rosti would be very scrumptious indeed. Enjoy pals!