What’s for Supper – salmon en croute

En croute means in pastry, and what a lovely idea it is to enrobe something already delicious in pastry, to arrive at something even more indulgent and yummy. It does make timing very challenging for the cook, as you have no way of knowing if the fish or meat is cooked inside the parcel. You need to follow a reliable recipe, preferably one you have tried and tested before.

This easy Sunday supper recipes uses the following and it serves 3, not just two. Eating cold, allowing yourself a little dollop of mayo, is possibly even nicer than eating it warm…

2 salmon fillets

275g puff pastry 

A dollop of Pesto

A little lemon juice 

Sea salt and ground pepper

1 egg 

If you are using ready rolled puff pastry all you need to do is cut to size. If, like me, you are using a block of pastry, place it on a very lightly floured surface, dust with a little flour and roll out to desired size. Roll out to about 2-3mm thickness, that would be about the thickness of a 20p coin. If it is as thick as a £1 coin it is too thick. There will be some waste of pastry, as you cut off to fit the size of you salmon.

Having cut away the skin from the salmon fillets, I want that side to face down in the parcel and the pesto to be on top when I cut into the parcel, so I started with placing a bit of pesto on the pastry, then put the salmon skinned/slightly discoloured side facing me. I seasoned and squeezed over a little lemon juice.

Enrobe the salmon and seal with egg yolk. Pinch in seams and flip over.

Whilst I would considers myself reasonably apt at food presentation, I don’t posses even a smidgeon of creative talent when it comes to cutting, shaping or forming. But I don’t need to tell you this – it is obvious form this photo.

Put the parcels in the fridge for 20 minutes to half an hour (or longer).

Preheat the oven to 200C. Place on a paper lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

The puff pastry should be deep golden brown, and cooked right through. The salmon will be well cooked, but moist. I prefer salmon to be just short of being cooked, with a central core of coral coloured, less cooked fish. But I am happy with it cooked a little further for this dish, as it keeps really moist inside the pastry parcels.

A golden rule of thumb in culinary terms is that when you enrobe or top with pastry, you do not serve more carbs with the dish.


I am going to serve my salmon parcels with a salad of tender leaves, raw and steamed asparagus, and some wilted spinach. You could cream the spinach, which is one of my favourite ways to enjoy it, but with the rich pastry and the flavour of pesto, I think just plain wilted, with a little butter and plenty of salt, is right for this. To wilt spinach, pack at least 150g per person into a large saucepan, into which you have put a good knob of butter and one teaspoon of water, a good pinch of sea salt and, if you have it, a little grated nutmeg. You can be brutal with the raw spinach and push it down in the saucepan. Turn up the heat and turn the spinach using tongs as it starts to wilt. It will wilt down very quickly, we are talking a couple of minutes at the most from start to finish.


Asparagus should be cooked al dente and the further away from water the better the result.

So never immerse in water. Steam if you want clean tasting and tender spears, which I do for my salad here, but otherwise it fares much better when roasted briefly in the oven, griddled or tossed briefly in a hot pan, with a little oil and butter. Raw asparagus tastes exactly like fresh peas and its lovely to use, shaved lengthways in a tender leaf salad to which you also add some steamed spears. Make a dressing from olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, a little honey and scatter over some Parmesan shavings. The Parmesan works particularly well here as the salmon is topped with Pesto, in which Parmesan, or Pecorino, is an essential flavour.


What’s for supper tomorrow…

Home made pizza! All that flour and yeast must be out there somewhere…you will need strong bread flour for this. Get the children involved – this is so much fun to make with the kids.