Jamie Oliver’s open topped version of salmon en croûte, which features in his Ministry of Food book, has lots of different flavours and textures going on but doesn't require much effort beyond assembling the ingredients and baking.
It’s a similar dish to pesto-topped salmon but far richer so it goes well with a simple salad or vegetables. I halved the recipe and used around 400g of salmon (four fillets) but didn’t reduce the cooking time which resulted in the fish being slightly over-cooked. The pastry, tapenade and mozzarella made up for this but in future I'll check the salmon after 25 minutes. As I was cooking for two I made two smaller salmon en croûtes so they could be cooked separately; one for tonight's dinner and one for tomorrow.
I made my own tapenade by blending black Kalamata olives (around 70g) with two sun-dried tomatoes and two roasted garlic cloves as I refused to pay £4 for a tiny jar of tapenade from Tesco. I don't mind spending money on good quality ingredients but when you factor in the cost of the salmon this dish can start to get pricey. The homemade tapenade took less than five minutes to make, tasted great and leftovers were eaten with crackers.
- plain flour (for dusting)
- 500g pack of puff pastry
- 800g salmon fillet, boneless
- olive oil
- sea salt and black pepper
- 4 tbsp black olive tapenade paste
- small bunch fresh basil
- 2 ripe tomatoes
- 150g ball of mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg (to glaze)
- Preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan).
- Dust a large, flat baking tray (preferably 30×15cm) with flour then dust your work surface and rolling pin. Roll out 500g of puff pastry to match the size of your baking tray then place it on the floured tray.
- Drizzle some olive oil onto an 800g salmon fillet then season with a pinch of salt and pepper before transferring the fillet onto the pastry, skin side down.
- Evenly spread 4 tablespoons of black olive tapenade paste over the top of the salmon.
- Lay the leaves from a small handful of basil over the fish, then slice 2 ripe tomatoes and place them on top of the basil.
- Scatter over 150g of torn mozzarella before finishing with another drizzle of olive oil and a little more salt and pepper.
- Fold in the sides of the pastry to meet the salmon fillet, pinching the corners of the pastry together to hold it in place.
- Beat 1 egg in a cup and use a pastry brush to thoroughly glaze the exposed pastry.
- Place the salmon en croûte on the bottom shelf of the preheated oven and place another baking tray on the shelf directly above it to stop the pastry from browning too quickly. Cook for 35 minutes (but check if the fish is cooked through after 25 minutes) and serve immediately. The salmon goes well with steamed vegetables or a green salad.