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    Pan-fried salmon with baby leeks and anchovy hollandaise

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    Pan-fried salmon with baby leeks and anchovy hollandaise

    This is deliciously decadent, but very simple to prepare. Silken leeks and a smooth but punchy sauce are perfect partners for the fish. Cooking the salmon mostly skin-side down gives you the ideal combination of moist fish and crispy skin.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 20 minutes
    • Total time: 35 minutes

    Serves: 4


    135g pack baby leeks, trimmed and halved lengthways
    (or 3 full-sized leeks, cut into 2cm-thick slices) 
    15g unsalted butter
    about 600g whole Native Hebridean salmon fillet * , descaled and cut into 4 fillets
    1 tbsp sunflower oil  

    3 egg yolks
    1 tsp Dijon mustard
    200g unsalted butter, melted and kept warm
    5 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped
    ½ x 20g pack tarragon, leaves finely chopped
    ½ lemon, juice
    pinch cayenne pepper
    2-3 tbsp nonpareille capers, drained and rinsed

    *(Available from the fish service counter)


    1. Put the leeks in a steamer over boiling water, cover and cook for 7-8 minutes, until tender. Drain the water from the pan, put the leeks in, season and toss with the 15g butter; cover to keep warm. 

    2. Meanwhile, for the sauce, put the egg yolks and mustard in the small bowl of a food processor. Switch on and slowly trickle in the melted butter until the sauce thickens. Quickly stir in the anchovies and tarragon, then the lemon juice and cayenne to taste, plus a pinch of salt if needed. If it’s too thick, beat in 1-2 tsp just-boiled water. Set aside in a warm place.

    3. Pat dry the salmon skin with kitchen paper; season both sides of the fish. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat; add the oil, then the fish, skin-side down. Cook over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes, or until the skin is crisp. Turn over and cook for 2-3 minutes, until just cooked through and opaque. Divide the leeks between 4 plates and spoon over some sauce. Add a fish fillet to each, then scatter over some capers.

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, March 2020 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue


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