I made this for New Year’s Eve dinner and can’t say my guests were complaining. It’s actually really easy, the hardest part is taking the salmon out of the oven in time – this takes a bit of practice but also depends on the size of the salmon. Try it for a dinner with guests or just for yourself, it’s really yummy.
Ingredients for 4-6 servings
1 or 2 salmon filets (at least 2 cm thick), in total about 1 kg (you can use frozen and thawed salmon but fresh is better)
4 tablespoons of sundried tomato tapenade or red pesto (try to use good quality – I use Père Olive, for the tapenade and sundried tomatoes)
200 grams of ricotta
several sprigs of fresh tarragon
8 to 10 sundried tomatoes
freshly ground salt and pepper
kitchen string (use good kitchen string, remember Bridget Diary’s blue soup!)
Heat the oven to 210 degrees Celsius. If the salmon has skin, remove this gently by pulling it away using a knife (I actually left part of the skin on for the bottom part, this works fine). Depending on the size of your filet piece, either cut it lengthwise or in half, so that you get two solid and equally large parts. Remove fishbones with a pincet. Coat one side of each salmon piece with the tomato tapenade (if you kept skin on, don’t coat the skin side!).
Keep a few sprigs of tarragon apart, mix the rest of the leaves (without the harder parts) with the ricotta, season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover the first piece of salmon (if you have skin, it should be on the bottom) with the ricotta mixture and the sundried tomatoes. Put the second piece of salmon on top, so that the ‘head’ and ‘tail’ pieces of the filet are on opposite sides and the ‘prettiest’ part on top. Add the extra tarragon. Now, cut a few pieces of string and carefully tie the salmon and its contents as on the picture (2-4 times, depending on the size of the salmon).
Take a large piece of parchment paper and grease with a bit of olive oil. Put the fish roll on top. Fold the papillote around the salmon (roll it carefully around) and fold closed as tightly as possible. I used some extra string to secure the package. Put it in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes – if you’re not sure whether it’s ready, take it out of the oven at 20 minutes and check whether the salmon is done, you can close the parchment paper again. My tip: don’t let the salmon bake completely through – take it out when the inside of the fish meat is still a bit darker and looking ‘wet’, it will continue to bake a little out of the oven. If you wait until it’s completely done, the salmon can become somewhat too dry. Enjoy!