zoom Oven-poached salmon with fennel and beetroot
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    Oven-poached salmon with fennel and beetroot

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    Oven-poached salmon with fennel and beetroot

    A side of salmon makes an impressive centrepiece for Boxing Day and is the perfect antidote to overindulging at Christmas.

    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 70 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes 60 minutes 40 minutes

    Serves: 8 with leftovers


    100g butter, softened
    1 whole salmon, about 3kg
    2 limes
    20g pack fresh tarragon
    25g pack fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
    300ml dry white wine
    700g raw beetroot, thinly sliced
    2 fennel bulb (about 700g)
    1½ tbsp capers
    170ml tub essential Waitrose Double Cream


    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Smear half the butter over the base of a large, shallow roasting tin (a large turkey roasting tin with sloping sides is ideal).

    2. Place the salmon in the tin. You might need to cut the head and tail off the salmon to make it fit. Make sure you’ve spread butter under the whole fish, particularly at the tail end, otherwise it will stick.

    3. Thinly slice one of the limes. Tuck into the cavity with half the tarragon, half the parsley sprigs and plenty of seasoning.

    4. Pour the wine into the tin and cover with buttered foil, sealing the edges well.

    5. Scatter the beetroot into a large, shallow ovenproof dish. Cut the fennel into thin wedges, discarding any tough outer layers. Squeeze the juice from the second lime into a bowl. Dip the fennel in the juice and scatter over the beetroot. Dot with a further 25g of butter and season. Place on the top shelf of the oven, cook for 20 minutes, then remove.

    6. Dot the fennel with the remaining butter and return to the oven. Place the salmon on the lower shelf. Cook both for 40-45 minutes until the salmon is cooked through. To test, gently pull the dorsal fin – it will come away easily once the salmon is cooked. Peel off the skin and discard it.

    7. Transfer the salmon to a platter, cover and keep warm. Check the fennel and beetroot are cooked through. Cook for a little longer if necessary. Strain the salmon cooking juices through a sieve into a small pan and boil until reduced by about half.

    8. Finely chop the remaining tarragon and parsley and mix with the capers. Add half of this herby mixture to the pan with the cream. Cook until heated through. Check the seasoning and serve with the salmon, sprinkled with the remainder of the herb and caper mix, and the vegetables.

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