June is always pretty hectic as it’s the perfect time in Istanbul for friends and family to come and visit. And we love it! This past week has been like that: marvellous times, memories in the making and busy on the cooking front!
|Mediterranean Salmon: doesn't this look fab?|
I always think salmon is a good choice – how about you?
After my last post about meat-stuffed vine leaves, you will think I have this kind of dish on the brain. You may be right! What I do like is the idea of several flavours all working together. Some people may not like the idea of the olives but personally I do. Black olives especially Turkish ones have a very distinctive taste that goes well with basil which also has a strong taste, combined with the beautiful sun-dried tomato that always reminds me of warm summer days. All very Mediterranean indeed.
This recipe comes from our friend Gordon Ramsay and he does have some great recipes. He recommends alternative flavours for ‘studding’ the salmon: grilled red pepper, garlic slivers and pieces of anchovy in the basil leaves instead of the sun-dried tomatoes and olives, for example. But I recommend this.
This dish is super easy: you can prepare it in advance, always a plus, and bring it to the table just warm when it’s at its best. I served it for dinner a few nights ago with potato wedgies sprinkled with flaked red pepper and dried thyme, and a green salad. Oh yes, I also had a fresh beetroot salad with onion and parsley tossed in a mustardy vinaigrette so there was a nice contrast of both flavours and colours. For starters we had artichokes/enginar.
It was an ideal early summer menu that we all enjoyed:
Ingredients for Gordon Ramsay's Mediterranean Salmon:
Salmon Fillet Studded with Black Olives rolled in Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Leaves
1 whole salmon fillet, about 800g, skin on and well-trimmed (mine was actually 960g)
9 marinated sundried tomatoes, halved
18 black olives, pitted (Gordon says preferably Niçoise but I say Turkish!)
18 basil leaves
3 tbsp olive oil
· Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Lay the salmon on a board and using an apple corer, make 18 holes in rows of three on the salmon fillet, just going through the skin but not cutting all the way through.
|making the holes with the apple corer|
· Take a piece of sun-dried tomato and an olive and, using a basil leaf as a wrapper, roll up into a tight little parcel. Each parcel should be just big enough to plug into one of the holes.
|rolling the olive and sundried tomato in a basil leaf|
· As you roll each parcel, stuff them into the holes until they are all filled.
|oh so easy|
· Place the salmon fillet on a piece of greased foil on a baking tray, then season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast in the oven for 20 mins until just cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to cool until just warm, then carefully lift the salmon onto a serving dish and serve, or leave to cool completely.
|transfer to an attractive serving dish and you have the makings of a|
very impressive dinner!
- To transfer the fish from the roasting tray to a platter, loosen the fillet by drawing a palette knife between the fish and the foil, then use a palette knife and a fish slice to lift onto the platter. Don’t worry if some of the skin stays stuck to the foil.
- The flavour of the dish is best when it’s served lukewarm, but it’s also delicious cold if made the day before. If you do make it ahead, chill the salmon on its serving platter and serve with a lemony mayonnaise.