I watch a lot of food TV channels on Foxtel. And I do adore Rick Stein. I love his simple and no fuss cooking. He was the first few TV chefs that I still love so much. I think I have watched his many food series at least twice over or maybe three times. I have a couple of his cookbooks which I don’t cook much from. Not sure why but I prefer watching him on TV than reading his cookbooks. To be honest, his cookbooks are so boring in comparison to his TV shows. It seems to be lacking in personality.
This recipe came about from watching one of his episodes on Foxtel. I was looking for a fish recipe for Mister’s birthday dinner with mum and this was perfect. I bought the whole salmon from chaotic Queen Victoria Market on Christmas eve. The queue was ridiculous and people were starting to show their bad side. It is only freaking fish and frozen prawns! How rude can some people be. Anyway, I bought my salmon and the rest is history.
So why did I not just roast the whole fish with the bones on? I kept the head for grilling, the bones for making fish stock and then stomach for a miso based fish soup. They are all still sitting in my freezer but I will get round it to. It has made me realised that it is so much more economical to get the whole fish instead of just fillets. I paid $48 for a 2.7Kg of salmon. Very affordable and the whole fish is well utilised. And I get to practice my filleting skills.
I love how all the fresh ingredients come together in this dish. As much as I love roasting and cooking this fish with its bones on, this method works. So pretty don’t you think?
Here is the recipe that I have adapted from Rick Stein
- 1.8kg of filleted salmon (I bought a whole salmon but kept the head, bones and stomach for another recipe)
- 30g of parsley
- a few springs of fresh oregano
- 10g of baby capers
- 6 anchovy fillets
- 1 clove of grated garlic
- Zest of two lemons
- 20ml of good olive oil
- Semi-dried lemon thyme
- Sea salt
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- Drizzle of good olive oil
- Preheat oven to 220C. Make the salsa verde by processing the parsley, fresh oregano, parsley, capers, anchovy fillets, garlic and a good dose of olive oil. Add some salt and pepper to taste
- Line the baking tray with baking paper. Place the halved tomatoes evenly on the baking tray skin side down. Oil the salmon on both sides, sprinkle some salt and black pepper. Place one salmon with skin face down on top of the cherry tomatoes. Add the salsa verde on the flesh side of the salmon and place the other salmon piece on top
- Brush or spray more olive oil on the top piece. Add the lemon zest, lemon thyme, more salt and pepper and final drizzle of more olive oil
- Roast the fish for about 30mins or until the skin is slightly brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow the fish to rest for about 15mins.
This dish worked. The salsa verde and tomatoes kept the salmon moist. The lemon zest and herbs gave this dish a lift of freshness and made the flavours pop. It was nerve wreaking as I wanted it to be as perfect as possible for Mister and my mum. I tested the dish with a wooden skewer and also by using a metal skewer and touching it to my lips. It has to be just lukewarm to the lips.
Is this how to make sure that the fish is cooked perfectly? Do you have another tip to share please?
This whole fish can feed between 6 – 8 people quite easily. It depends on how much sides you have and how big everyone appetite is. We definitely had leftovers and it kept well. We had it for lunch the next day. I heated it up in a oven by placing the pieces in an “aluminum foiled bag”, added a touch of white wine and butter and voila!