Fish, Dinner Party, Party food, Christmas
Salmon en croute
- olive oil
- 2 banana shallots
- 100 g baby spinach
- 1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 200 g baby leaf watercress
- 1 knob of butter
- 1-2 lemons
- 1 whole nutmeg , for grating
- 200 g crème fraîche
- 1 x 500 g thick, skinless salmon fillet, pin-boned, from sustainable sources
- 500 g puff pastry
- 1 large free-range egg
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper and brush it with a little oil.
- Peel and finely chop the shallots, roughly chop the spinach, then pick and chop the parsley leaves. Chop half the watercress, leaving the rest whole.
- To make the filling, warm the butter and a splash of oil in a pan over a low heat. Add the shallots and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft but not coloured.
- Add the spinach, parsley and chopped watercress to the pan with the zest and juice from 1 lemon. Season to taste and stir in a good grating of nutmeg.
- Cook down the leaves for 3 to 5 minutes, then mix in 1 tablespoon of the crème fraîche.
- Tip it into a sieve set over a bowl and press to squeeze out the juices. Leave the filling to cool.
- To make the sauce, blitz the remaining watercress and crème fraîche in a food processor with juices from the bowl. Season and add more lemon juice to taste. Transfer to a bowl and chill until needed.
- Slice the salmon fillet in half sideways, so you can open it like a book.
- Spoon the cooled filling down the middle, fold the fish back over to close and set aside.
- Cut the pastry in half and roll out each piece to the thickness of a pound coin and about 2cm wider than your salmon.
- Place one piece on the baking tray and lay the salmon on top in the middle. With your finger, dab water around the edge of the pastry, then lay the other piece on top.
- Mould the pastry around the fish with your hands, then press the edges with a fork to seal. Score the top with a knife, then beat and brush over the egg.
- Bake the salmon in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp.
- Serve with the watercress sauce – delicious with a green salad and new potatoes.