© David Loftus
summer pan-baked salmon
This is one of those great dishes that you can really make your own by using whatever vegetables are in season – it’s particularly nice with fava beans, asparagus or little halved cherry tomatoes. The fish doesn’t take long to cook, so you can blanch your veg accordingly and then finish them off in the pan with the fish. It makes life a lot easier if you’re cooking for the family or a large group of friends.
Preheat the oven to 495ºF. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add your new potatoes and cook for 10 to 12 minutes until they are nearly done. Add all your beans to the pan and cook for another 4 minutes. Then drain the potatoes and beans in a colander. Put them into an appropriately sized roasting pan and add your peas, the butter, a little drizzle of olive oil and the zest and juice of the lemons. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss together while still warm so the flavors are absorbed.
Chop up half the herbs and add to the pan. Score your salmon fillets lightly on the skin side. Rub each fillet with salt, freshly ground black pepper and a little olive oil, and stuff the scores with the remaining herbs. Put into the preheated oven and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes until the salmon is just cooked (don’t overcook it) and the veggies are soft. Serve at the table, giving everyone some veggies and potatoes, a nice piece of salmon and some of the lovely cooking juices from the bottom of the pan which are like a ready-made sauce.
• 1¹⁄₂lb new potatoes, scrubbed
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• a large handful of runner (green) beans, sliced into 2 inch piecea large handful of haricots vert, tops trimmed
• optional: a large handful of yellow French beans, tops trimmed
• 2 handfuls of shelled peas
• 4 tablespoons butter
• extra virgin olive oil
• 2 lemons, zested and halved
• a handful of fresh basil
• a handful of fresh fennel tops or dill
• 4 7oz fillets of salmon, scaled, filleted and pinboned