Having just returned from an outrageously fun week of skiing, Monday started with a heavier sense of sombreness than usual. To overcome these post holiday blues I turned to the magnanimous Mary Berry and created a comforting dinner to assuage the cloud of despondency hanging over me. Watching cookery programmes has always been an obsessive idiosyncrasy for me, I think there is something inherently reassuring about being guided through a dish, calmly, from start to finish. Mary Berry, the epitome of kitchen serenity, soothed away my post holiday gloom and inspired me to have a go at a retro classic; Salmon En Croute for a restorative Monday night dinner.
Salmon fillets are brushed with sun-dried tomato pesto, topped with thyme roasted vegetables and encased in crisp, buttery puff pastry. Served with a fairly indulgent, creamy red pesto and basil sauce alongside a green salad, this dish is like a warm, cosy hug on a melancholic Monday evening
Adapted from Mary’s recipe to feed two very hungry people.
Salmon en Croute with Red Pesto and Roasted Vegetables
1 Red Onion
1 Red Pepper
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Dried Thyme
Salt and Pepper
Salmon en Croute
2 Salmon Fillets (skinless and boneless)
1 Packet of All Butter Puff Pastry
2 Tbsp of Red Pesto
1 Egg (beaten)
250ml Double Cream
Large Handful of Chopped Basil
Juice of Half a Lemon
1.5 Tbsp Red Pesto
1 Small Bag of Mixed Green Leaves
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tsp Caster sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Chop the courgette into roughly 1.5cm cubes and the peeled red onion into wedges. In a small roasting tray toss in the olive oil and thyme then season. Cut the red pepper in half and de-seed. Place this cut side down on top of the courgette and onion and roast for 20 – 25 minutes until the vegetables are golden and the pepper slightly charred. Leave to cool completely then peel the skin away from the pepper and slice into bitesize pieces.
Place a baking sheet in the oven to heat up. Halve the puff pastry and roll into two rectangles, one slightly larger than the other around 4mm thick. Place one rectangle onto a large sheet of baking paper and lay the salmon fillets on top of the pastry, leaving a gap of around 5cm between them. Top each with a tablespoon of pesto and the roasted vegetables. Lay the second sheet of pastry on top and carefully seal around the edges so you have two parcels, Cut the rectangle in half and crimp the edges around each fillet. Brush with beaten egg and bake for 25 minutes.
To make the salad dressing, place all of the ingredients in a jar and shake until combined. Taste and adjust quantities to your preference.
Once cooked, remove the salmon from the oven and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes whilst you make the sauce. Gently heat the cream and stir in the lemon juice and pesto. When the sauce is heated through, remove from the heat and add the basil. Serve immediately with the dressed green salad (spare dressing will keep in the jar, refrigerated for up to 2 weeks).