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Salmon en croute
main courses | serves 4
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6, and line a large baking sheet with baking paper brushed with a little olive oil.
2. To make the filling, warm the butter and a splash of oil in a pan over a low heat. Add the shallots and cook them for 10 minutes, or until soft but not coloured.
3. Add the spinach, parsley and chopped watercress to the pan with the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Season to taste and stir in a good grating of nutmeg.
4. Cook down the leaves for 3–5 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.
5. 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 to taste. Transfer to a bowl and chill until needed.
6. 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.
7. Cut the pastry in half and roll out each to the thickness of a £1 coin and about 2cm wider than your salmon. Place one piece on the baking sheet 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.
8. Mould the pastry around the fish with your hands, then press the edges with a fork to seal. Score the top with a knife and brush all over with beaten egg.
9. Bake the salmon in the oven for 20–25 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp. Serve with the watercress sauce – delicious with a green salad and new potatoes.
Recipe Maddie Rix
Photo Sam Stowell
from Issue 50
ingredients• Olive oil
• A knob of butter
• 2 banana shallots, finely chopped
• 100g baby spinach, roughly chopped
• A bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
• 200g baby leaf watercress, half chopped, half left whole
• Zest and juice of 1–2 lemons
• Nutmeg, for grating
• 200g crème fraîche
• 500g salmon fillet, a thick piece, pin-boned and skin removed
• 500g puff pastry
• 1 egg, beaten