A traveler leaves the saline safety of his ocean home and embarks on his soul-mission, facing the unexpected challenges of navigating hundreds of miles upstream. Up, he swims. Up, up, up. Driven by a greater purpose, he jumps over rapids and pauses for half a second to notice a green world, dripping in saturated chlorophyllic color. The licorice scent of tree ferns and spicy lemony scent of douglas firs fill the air, freezing the moment. He has a vague sense he’s seen this before, a long time ago. And he has. Because this upstream journey means he is finally coming home.
Salmon gravlax made with Polypodium glycyrrhiza (licorice fern) and beets, with tangy douglas fir and juniper goat cheese. The licorice fern's rhizome tastes very strongly of anise and I wanted to use it in a savory recipe, so I took inspiration from a Scandinavian salt brine-cured salmon called gravlax. Instead of using licorice or anise, I subbed in the licorice fern and some juniper berries to add spiciness. The beets added color and emphasized the earthiness of the rhizome.