Salmon and Spinach en croute
If you are making these salmon puffpastry parcels more than an hour in advance, dust the bottom layer of pastry with a little semolina or polenta to prevent it going soggy. If using shop-bought pastry, look out for the all-butter variety. Serves four.
YOU WILL NEED
100g/4oz unsalted butter,
2 tbsps chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp chopped tarragon leaves
1 tbsp chopped dill
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
500g packet all-butter puff pastry,
thawed if frozen
Plain flour, for dusting
4 x 175g/6oz organic salmon fillets
(2.5cm/1in thick), skinned and
50g/2oz baby spinach leaves
1 egg, beaten
Salt and cracked-black pepper
Salad leaves lightly dressed with
French vinaigrette, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Place the butter in a small bowl with the parsley, tarragon, dill, garlic and some salt and cracked-black pepper, and stir until well combined. Spoon the butter on to a sheet of cling film or non-stick baking paper and shape into a roll about 2.5cm/1in thick, wrapping tightly.
Chill the butter in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to firm up (or refrigerate for up to 48 hours, if time allows).
Cut the pastry into eight evenly sized sections and roll each out on a lightly floured work surface to a rectangle of 13cm x 18cm (5in x 7in), trimming the edges if necessary. Arrange four of the rectangles on baking sheets lined with non-stick baking paper. Place a salmon fillet in the centre of each one.
Unwrap the garlic and herb butter and cut into 16 equal slices. Arrange four slices on each piece of salmon in an overlapping layer. Cover with the spinach leaves and season with salt and pepper.
Brush the edges of the pastry bases with a little beaten egg and lay a second sheet of pastry on top, pressing down to seal. Crimp all around the edges of each parcel by gently pressing the pastry with the forefinger of one hand and between the first two fingers of the other hand, until completely sealed.
Use a sharp knife to make light slashes in the top of each parcel, being careful not to cut right through. Brush the parcels with the remaining beaten egg and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is cooked through and golden brown. Place on warmed plates with some dressed salad leaves.