• Recipe, styling and photograph by Katelyn Allegra
    Assisted by Cassandra Upton

    Liquorice and black garlic-crusted salmon with buckwheat salad

    Serves: 4
    Cooking Time: 1 hr 30 mins


    • SALAD

    • 120g buckwheat, rinsed
    • 500ml (2 cups) water
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 60ml (¼ cup) olive oil
    • 2 tsp honey
    • zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • handful fresh flat-leaf parsley,
    • roughly torn
    • handful fresh dill, roughly torn +
    • extra, to garnish
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper,
    • to taste
    • 2 tsp olive oil
    • 4 baby fennel bulbs, thickly sliced
    • 2 tbsp white sugar
    • 2 whole grapefruit, quartered
    • SALMON

    • 90g black liquorice, finely chopped
    • 2 black garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • (find at woolworths.co.za, select delis
    • and health stores)
    • 310ml (1¼ cups) water
    • 4 x 160g salmon fillets, skin on
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 100g chia seeds



    For the salad, place the buckwheat, 500ml (2 cups) water and 1 tsp salt in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium-high heat until cooked, 15 – 20 minutes. Drain through a sieve and place under cold running water to cool down. Set aside until needed.


    Preheat the oven grill to its highest setting. In a jug or small bowl, combine the 60ml (¼ cup) olive oil, 2 tsp honey, lemon zest and juice, herbs and seasoning, to taste. Pour the dressing over the buckwheat and toss well to combine. Set aside.


    Heat the 2 tsp olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over very high heat. Once the pan is smoking, add the fennel slices and fry until charred in places, 2 – 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat and set aside.


    Sprinkle the sugar over the grapefruit flesh and place under the preheated oven grill until the sugar has caramelised, 10 – 15 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on the grapefruit, as it can burn easily.


    For the salmon, combine the finely chopped liquorice and black garlic with 310ml (1¼ cups) water in a small pot and cook over high heat until the liquorice has melted. Remove from heat and set aside.


    Season the salmon fillets with the ½ tsp salt and brush the liquorice mixture over the skin. Working with 1 fillet at a time, immediately dip the salmon, skin side down, into the chia seeds and set aside. Repeat with the remaining fillets.


    Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Place the fillets, skin side down, in the pan. Brush the fillets with some more of the liquorice mixture. Fry over medium heat until the fillets are cooked halfway through, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn each fillet over and fry for another 2 minutes.


    Serve the salmon immediately with the buckwheat salad alongside. Top each portion with the charred fennel and caramelised grapefruit. Garnish with sprigs of fresh dill.