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Dilled Gravlax on crackers on a white tray

Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce

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Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce is super easy to prepare, but your friends will think you slaved for hours! Served on party rye with either the homemade sauce or creme fraiche, it’s a gorgeous appetizer.

Bill didn’t always eat salmon, but I slowly won him over with dishes like my Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon. He gave this traditional gravlax recipe rave reviews! Baby steps.

Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce

Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce

Oh, my. Dorie hit a home run with her Dilled Gravlax recipe. I’ve made gravlax before which involves a specific process of curing a piece of salmon with salt, sugar and spices, and it was wonderful.

But it bordered on being too salty. As always, Dorie shared a perfect recipe with a shorter curing time and a more moderate amount of seasonings.

Dilled Gravlax on crackers on a white tray

Cured Salmon You Can Make at Home

I made this dilled gravlax to serve at a neighborhood cookie exchange I hosted. It takes a total of 48-72 hours to cure, so plan accordingly. You’ll also need to make sure you have white peppercorns and whole coriander seed on hand. Thanks to Dorie, these are now staples in my kitchen.
Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce  on rye cocktail bread with a dill garnish

What is Gravlax?

Gravlax, lox and smoked salmon often get mistaken for one and other, though they’re each prepared differently. Gravlax is a Scandinavian recipe for curing salmon using salt, sugar and loads of dill. Lox is similar, but it’s cured in a salty brine. Neither gravlax nor lox is ever cooked. Smoked Salmon can be cooked as there are hot smoked (which results in a firm flaky fish) and cold smoked (which has a texture more like lox and gravlax) versions. 

A Beautiful, Traditional Gravlax Recipe

My friends were thrilled that this cured salmon recipe was in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table as I have convinced many of them to buy the cookbook. Then Bill spied a few of the leftovers in the fridge and sampled one of the slices on party rye slices.

He immediately declared that this cured salmon would be his breakfast the next day…on baguette slices. First chopped liver and now gravlax? It actually appears that he likes more than cherry Koolaid and rare steaks! I served my dilled gravlax slices with either Dorie’s dilled mustard sauce or  dollops of creme fraiche…plus a frilly garnish of dill or chives.

Beautiful and delicious as a bit of green against the orange salmon provides a great contrast. And my furry friend, Lambeau, was happy to chow down on the leftover salmon skin…she gave it two paws up, too.

More Salmon Recipes You’ll Love:

Dorie Greenspan's Gravlax recipe

Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce

Dorie Greenspan's fabulous salmon cured in salt, sugar and dill.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Yield 4 servings



  • 1 teaspoon whole white peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1-pound salmon fillet, skin on
  • 1 cup chopped fresh dill, divided


  • 2 tablespoons honey mustard
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil or canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


For gravlax:

Heat all peppercorns and coriander seeds in small skillet over medium-high heat until spices are fragrant, shaking skillet frequently, about 2 minutes. Crush spices with mallet or bottom of heavy pan. Transfer spices to small bowl. Mix in salt and sugar.

Using small knife, poke 12 small holes through skin of salmon. Rub 1/3 of spice mixture over skin. Sprinkle 1/3 cup chopped dill in bottom of an 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Place salmon, skin side down, over the dill. Rub remaining spice mixture into top of salmon. Press 2/3 cup chopped dill onto the salmon.

Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto fish. Place another pan over the plastic, then weight down with some canned goods. Refrigerate 2 to 3 days.

For sauce:

Whisk mustard and vinegar in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Stir in chopped dill and salt. Season with ground black pepper.

Scrape spices and dill off both sides of salmon (some spice mixture will remain). Thinly slice salmon diagonally at 45-degree angle from top of fillet toward skin.

Top toasts with salmon slices, sauce, and dill sprigs.


Adapted from Dorie Greenspan.

Total time does not include 2-3 day curing time.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 403Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 3414mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 25g


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35 comments on “Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce”

  1. Yay – a win for Bill, your friends and your fur baby. I liked this one too. Happy New Year Liz!

  2. Very pretty! I love your curvy little appy plates too:@)

  3. Well now who would have thought – Bill liking TWO recipes in a month? Nice one! Wishing you a wonderful 2014 – can’t wait to bake and cook along with you again!

  4. These look like great appetizers and so glad to hear Bill and your friends enjoyed them too. Love how pretty everything looks πŸ™‚

  5. If this keeps up, Bill is going to lose his reputation πŸ™‚

    Your gravlax is gorgeous.

    Wishing you a safe and Happy New Year – l am looking forward to cooking and baking along with you again in the coming year. XO

  6. That looks like the perfect little appetizer particularly after a few days of eating a bit too heavily! I love gravlax and the mustard sauce must pair with it famously! The photos are beautiful too; I really love the slight roll of the thinly sliced gravlax and the perfectly placed dill weed β€” it looks accidental but we all know how painstakingly you worked at it! Beautiful.
    Hope you had a Merry Christmas Liz and a very happy and healthy new year! XOXO

  7. Looks great Liz!:) Now we must find a way to make our own gravlax here in Athens!;)

  8. This looks beautiful. I hope to get mine up later today. And wow. Bill too. And Lambeau got in on the action! Win win win win!

  9. Oh, I love this! I love that book…I truly do. I can’t say that about too many books. But Dorie’s is a hit. This looks incredible. I hope you had a beautiful Christmas, my dear friend. xx

  10. This is something I am not familiar with but looks and sounds very interesting! I’m sure my hubby would love it! Thank you

  11. Wonderful presentation you got there!! Another keeper recipe! Happy New Year!!

  12. Liz, Looks like Dorie has given us another Home Run for our Bills! Gravlax is always enjoyed in my house! Yours looks perfectly beautiful, as always! I will be posting mine tomorrow because I was a bit late getting started!
    Wishing you a marvelous New Year, my friend! Can’t wait to see what 2014 holds for French Fridays!!

  13. Oh yum Gravalx is soooo good and homemade that much better. It looks wonderful. Love that Lambeau gave it a paws up πŸ™‚ Happy New Year to you and your family my friend!

  14. Yum… double yum after all the festive feasting!

  15. Bill and Lambeau loved it? How can you ask for anything more? Bella was begging for some this morning. I think this is perfect as an appetizer or for breakfast. Delicious! Happy New Year, Liz! I look forward to another year of cooking with you.

  16. You know it’s good when the husband AND the dog put two paws up. These photos are stunning.

  17. I never knew cats and dogs liked salmon skin until my friends’ two dachshunds went crazy over it. I also didn’t realize Lambeau got his name from Curly Lambeau of Packer fame until I read an article about Lambeau Field this week. Enlightenment is a wonderful thing. I think Bill has gone off the deep end. Wouldn’t you like to have the “real” Bill back, even if for only one Friday. All of us who made this week’s recipe seemed to enjoy both the process and the end result. I worried about poisoning my friends with pesky parasites but, so far, so good. Everone is still breathing. Your presentation, as always, is beautiful and I’m surprised your neighbors left any for your husband. So lucky to have met you and your family in Seattle. And, Maddy just helped me find the perfect florist to send a Christmas flower arrange to my brother’s family in Denver. It was gorgeous, I am told. HNYear to all.

  18. That gravlax is a beautiful site. I will definitely be making this!

  19. Gravlax is so tasty, I love the fresh dill and mustard sauce!

  20. My favourite fish! This looks terrific!

  21. This was a first for me and it seems that Dorie’s was the perfect recipe to start with. I was worried that since I left mine in the fridge longer than recommended that it would be too salty. But it was delicious! Happy to hear that yours was a hit as well.

  22. I adore fish in most every form from raw, smoked, steamed and cured and this looks fabulous! Really a great appetizer but a meal in itself. I love gravlax and that mustard sauce sounds great. I really should be owning this book.

  23. I knew we wouldn’t enjoy this so I didn’t make it but as I’ve read yours and other posts I want to make it! I am going to poll friends and family until I find a group that will enjoy gravlax! Bill has become quite the culinary adventurer hasn’t he? I hope 2014 is exactly what you want it to be Liz!

  24. Dropping by to wish you a Merry X’mas & Happy Holidays! It’s really nice to be greeted by this refreshing appetizer. xoxo

  25. I saw some other gravlax recipes on line and they used a ton of salt. I’m glad that my first time was with such a simple and not over salty recipe. Yours looks divine. Happy New Year my dare, it has been wonderful exchanging comments with you through out the year.

  26. Another winner from Bill? Cured Salmon? What kind of witchery are you now practicing? lol. It was only a matter of time I suppose. I just loved how so many of us found this to be a success! What a good way to sign off of 2013 and begin 2014, don’t ya think? Its so fun cooking with you and I am really looking forward to our 2014 together.

  27. Liz, beautiful presentation, you make everything look so delicious. Happy New Year
    to you and your family, and look forward to 2014 and more surprise recipes.

  28. When I was growing up we always had gravlax as an entree on Christmas Day. I don’t know why but it was the only time of year we had it. I love your presentation. I don’t know whose recipe we used but I’m sure it wasn’t Dorie’s xx

  29. I love salmon every which way. I made gravlax once, I believe it was from an old Silver Palate cookbook, this reminds me I’ll have to try it again!

  30. This looks amazing!
    So festive and delicious… I will have to get the recipe. Thank you for sharing.
    I hope you had a very Merry Christmas (despite the fire truck incident) πŸ™‚

  31. Very pretty and elegant. πŸ™‚

  32. Love that even Lambeau got some – that is one well loved (and deservedly so….) dog !! It was a great recipe and for us first time gravlax makers, a revelation. So nice to hear that Dorie did in fact have a great recipe compared to the other one you tried. No surprise here ! Happiest of New Year’s to you and yours !!

  33. Gorgeous! I want to live in your neighborhood, you seem to have fun activities, and I could taste test all your fabulous creations.

    Happy New Year!

  34. Fun when you make something that’s such a hit! Your dish looks lovely. I finally got to this, and I think it’s a mixed review – the salmon and gravlox lovers loved it! The rest were just as happy having a bit more of the home made pumpernickel. πŸ™‚ Happy New Year!

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