Salmon Baked with Horseradish Cream

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  • An ideal alfresco dinner party dish

    • 125g butter, softened

    • 1 whole, fresh salmon, weighing about 2.4kg, cleaned

    • a couple of lemons, thinly sliced

    • a few sprigs of fresh dill and parsley, and a few bay leaves

    • half a glass of dry white wine

    For the horseradish cream

    • 5tbsp freshly grated horseradish

    • juice of 1 small lemon

    • 2tsp Dijon mustard

    • salt and freshly ground pepper

    • 4tbsp olive oil

    • 200ml single cream

    1) Generously butter a large sheet of foil.

    2) Wash the salmon under the cold tap, making sure that you rinse inside the belly cavity, and dry thoroughly with kitchen towel.

    3) Lay the fish on the buttered foil and push the lemon slices and herbs into the cavity. Sprinkle with wine.

    4) Fold the foil up and over the fish to make a loose parcel, then place on a baking sheet and cook at 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 for 15 minutes per 450g, plus an extra 15 minutes.

    5) Check the fish 20 minutes before the calculated time by making a small incision along the backbone at the fattest part of the fish — the flesh will look just opaque when it’s ready. 6) Cool in the foil, then peel off the skin and scrape off the brown fatty layer. Keep in a cool place until ready to serve.

    7) Meanwhile, to make the horseradish cream, whisk together the horseradish and lemon juice, then add the mustard and seasoning.

    8) Gradually add the oil, then stir in the cream in a steady stream, whisking all the time to stop the mixture from curdling.

    9) Season again if necessary, then serve at room temperature with the salmon and fennel and onion salad.

    Fennel & Onion Salad

    • 2 bulbs of fennel

    • 4 spring onions

    • a handful of dill

    • good olive oil

    • fresh lemon juice

    • salt and freshly ground pepper

    1) To prepare the fennel, remove any discoloured outer pieces and trim the tough stem.

    2) Cut lengthways into really thin slices, using a mandolin if you own one.

    3) Drop into a pan of boiling salted water and blanch for 1 minute. Drain.

    4) Cut the onions into three lengthways, then cut each piece into very delicate shreds.

    5) Toss together the fennel, onion and dill, then drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season.

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