Courtesy of Regan Burns Cafiso
One 1 1/2 to 2-pound piece skin-on sushi-grade salmon fillet, pin bones removed
1 bulb fennel, with fronds attached
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 bunch dill
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1/2 orange
3 cups kosher salt
3 cups granulated sugar
Rinse salmon and pat dry with paper towels. Place on a large plate and set aside.
With a mortar and pestle or heavy pot on a wooden cutting board, lightly crush the peppercorns and fennel seeds and place in a large bowl. Stir in salt and sugar and mix well.
Remove leafy fronds from fennel bulb and coarsely chop them. (Reserve fennel bulb for another use.) Coarsely chop dill, stems and all, and place in a small mixing bowl with the fennel fronds. Stir in lemon and orange zest.
Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of the salt mixture on both sides of the salmon. Place half the herb mixture in the bottom of a 13x9-inch glass baking dish.
Pour half of the remaining salt mixture over the herbs, then place salmon on top, skin side down, and cover with remaining salt mixture. Top salt layer with remaining herbs.
To weight the salmon, nest another baking dish on top of the fish in the first dish, pressing it down firmly, then place a few soup cans or containers of rice (about 3 1/2 pounds total) inside. Place salmon in the refrigerator.
After 12 hours, remove salmon from the fridge and scrape away the top layer of salt and herbs (it will likely be wet or damp). Flip fish over and repack the salt on top, then reweight it. Place in the refrigerator for another 10 to 12 hours.
Remove salmon and rinse off the salt mixture under cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Serve salmon thinly sliced with brown bread, bagels or crackers.