Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cold salmon with watercress aioli

Hello everyone, it's been a very eventful week. On Tuesday night I attended the launch of the first book by my friend, Virginia Lloyd. It's called The Young Widow's Book Of Home Improvement - A True Story Of Love And Renovation. Virginia is a fantastic writer and I highly recommend this book.

As many of you know, I have been hosting a colleague from an American community foundation at the SCF for the last four weeks. Sadly and all too soon we are at the end of his visit, so to mark the occasion, he very generously took me to dinner at Rockpool (fish) last night. It was sensational! We had a really beautiful meal, the service was excellent, and it's such a lovely restaurant. I felt very lucky to have this treat and now I can't wait to return!

So, inspired by the gorgeous seafood at Rockpool (fish), this week I have a cold salmon recipe to share with you. It's maybe a little unseasonal now that the weather is cooling down, although the watercress is good right now. I found the aioli was just beautiful, really pairing well with the flavour of the salmon. I hope you enjoy it too. It's from a very sweet American cookbook I have had for years called Heart Of The Home. I'm suggesting a particular way to cook the salmon that I find works perfectly every time.

Lots of love, Jane xx

Cold salmon with watercress aioli

Serves six

What you need:
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable/sunflower/nut oil (macadamia oil works nicely)
  • 1/2 cup picked watercress leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill (I substitute mint as I prefer it to dill)
  • Freshly ground pepper and sea salt, to taste
  • 6 fresh salmon fillets

What you do:
  1. Place the egg, yolks, lemon juice, mustard and garlic into the bowl of a food processor and blend for one minute.
  2. Combine the two oils, then, with the machine running, pour the oil in a slow but steady stream into the egg mix.
  3. Add the watercress and dill/mint and whiz one final time to blend well to a pretty light green shade.
  4. Add the salt and pepper to taste and chill the sauce.
  5. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees (yes, I know that is very high but this works brilliantly, trust me).
  6. Brush the salmon fillets with a little olive oil and place in a baking dish, skin side down. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  7. When the oven comes to 250 degrees, place the salmon in it and turn off the heat.
  8. Leave the salmon in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes and they will cook perfectly.
  9. Remove the salmon from the oven and leave to cool, then chill until you are ready to serve.
  10. Serve the salmon with the aioli spooned over each fillet.