Salmon is a big hit around my house. I can sear it, grill it, roast it, and every time my whole family loves it. There are different species of salmon (in this recipe I used “Spring” or Chinook Salmon, which has a lovely fattiness and mild flavour) but any will do for a recipe like this. I love baking fish in puff pastry, as it looks super impressive when brought out to the table, as if the cook spent hours slaving over the dish. In reality, as long as you have some good puff pastry available (store bought is fine), this dish doesn’t take very long to make, and can even be assembled a day ahead! I like to serve this with a light salad and a mayonnaise-based sauce on the side (see recipe below), but a butter-based sauce (like a beurre blanc or a hollandaise) works beautifully here as well.
1 lb fresh salmon fillet, skin removed
to taste salt and pepper
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped and divided in two
2 tbsp butter
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups button mushroom, sliced
a splash vermouth (optional)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 lb spinach leaves, washed
2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg (for egg wash)
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Season the salmon fillet on either side with salt and pepper. Brush the top side with the Dijon mustard, then sprinkle the mustard side with 1 tbsp of chopped dill. Set aside.
- In a large sauté pan over a medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel. Add the mushrooms to the sauté pan and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released their juices and are wilted: about 5 more minutes. Add the lemon juice and the vermouth (if using), then add the spinach. Season with salt and pepper and stir frequently until the spinach has wilted. Transfer the cooked mushrooms and spinach to the towel-lined baking tray to cool and drain.
- Lay the first sheet of puff pastry down on a cutting board. Once the spinach mixture is cool to the touch, spoon it into a square in the center of the puff pastry. Place the salmon fillet on top of the vegetables and gently press down. Make the egg wash by beating the egg well with 1 tbsp of cold water, then using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash on the pastry all around the salmon and vegetables. Lay the second sheet of puff pastry on top of the salmon and let it drape on top of the first sheet of pastry. Use your fingers to form the top sheet of pastry around the fish, and seal the pastry, trying not to leave gaps of air between the fish and the dough. Use a knife to trim the dough into a square around the fish, leaving a 1 inch border.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a large spatula, transfer the pie onto the center of the sheet. If you want, you can decorate the top of the pie with the excess pastry dough you trimmed, or even lightly score the top of the pie to resemble fish scales. Brush more egg wash all over the completed pie, then place in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown all over, and an internal thermometer stuck into the center of the pie read 165°F. Remove and cool slightly before slicing and serving.
There are a few methods to make this sauce, but for ease I use a pre-made mayonnaise and just add things to it to spice it up. Super fast and easy, this sauce goes well with steamed vegetables like asparagus, peas, and green beans as well as the Salmon en Croûte!
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp dill, chopped
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 hard boiled egg, yolk and white separated and chopped
1 tbsp capers, chopped
1 tbsp cornichons, chopped
1 pickled onion, chopped (optional – I use the pickled onion that comes in the cornichon jar)
- Mix all of the ingredients together and serve in a side bowl.