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    Herb-Stuffed Salmon Roasted on a Bed of Fennel and New Potatoes

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    Herb-Stuffed Salmon Roasted on a Bed of Fennel and New Potatoes

    This makes an impressive but easily prepared main course for a special lunch. It is also really simple to serve - just cut across the fish to make thick slices. The Watercress and Tarragon Mayonnaise (see recipe) is the perfect accompaniment. Any salmon left over is delicious cold with salad.

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus 30-40 minutes standing time
    • Cooking time: 50 minutes to 60 minutes
    • Total time: 2 hours 10 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 10 minutes

    Serves: 6 - 8

    Ingredients

    • Maldon Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2.2-2.5kg whole salmon, filleted but skin left on
    • Several sprigs of tarragon
    • Several sprigs of lemon thyme
    • 3 good-sized fennel bulbs, trimmed
    • 1kg small salad or new potatoes, peeled or unpeeled as preferred, cut in half if large
    • 250g pickling onions or shallots, peeled and halved if large
    • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    • 6-7 fresh bay leaves
    • 1 tsp coriander seeds, coarsely crushed
    • 6 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 organic lemons
    • Stuffing
    • 450g courgettes, coarsely grated
    • Maldon Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • Large knob of butter
    • 1 small onion or 2 shallots, finely chopped
    • 4 tbsp Noilly Prat White Vermouth or white wine
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or chervil
    • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
    • 1 tsp chopped fresh lemon thyme
    • 1 tbsp olive oil

    Method

    1. First make the stuffing. Toss the courgettes with 1 tsp salt. Place in a colander in the sink and leave in the sink for 30-40 minutes, then squeeze out any water.
    2. Heat the oil and the butter in a frying pan and cook the onions or shallots gently for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the courgettes and cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn up the heat, add the vermouth or wine and cook briskly until the liquid evaporates. Season, then allow to cool.
    3. Stir in the chopped herbs. Set to one side.
    4. Wash and dry the salmon fillets and remove any stray bones. Place one fillet, skin-side down, on the work surface. Season, then heap the stuffing over the fillet and place the second fillet, skin-side up, on top. Tie in several places with fine string and tuck in some of the herb sprigs. Keep in the fridge until ready to cook.
    5. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cut the fennel bulbs into quarters or wedges, keeping them attached at the root ends. Add to the pan, bring to the boil again, then cook for 4-5 minutes. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and drain. Add the potatoes to the water and cook for 5 minutes, then drain.
    6. Place the fennel, potatoes, onions, garlic, bay leaves and coriander seeds in a single layer in a large roasting tin. Add 5 tbsp of the oil to the vegetables and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Season and toss to mix.
    7. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Roast the vegetables for 10 minutes, stirring once.
    8. Take the fish out of the fridge and season the top skin well with sea salt. Drizzle with the remaining oil and place the fish on top of the vegetables. Squeeze the second half of the cut lemon over the fish. Add the remaining herb sprigs and the remaining lemon, cut into wedges.
    9. Stir the vegetables to coat in the oil. Roast for 50 minutes, basting the fish once or twice, or until the fish is just cooked at the centre (test with a metal skewer). Remove the string, then serve immediately with the Watercress and Tarragon Mayonnaise. (See recipe).

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    Cook's tips

    The salmon can be stuffed up to four hours in advance and stored in the fridge, then added to the vegetables while they roast.

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