Mastering salmon Wellington: Your simple step-by-step guide
This is the leaner, slightly healthier summer-friendly cousin of the much-loved winter favourite, beef Wellington. The delicate salmon is topped with a creamy kale, leek and mushroom mixture before being wrapped in some buttery flaky puff pastry. The beautifully crafted latticework adds some crunch while the rest of the pastry allows the salmon to gently cook until flaky. This is a real showstopper – perfect for wowing any crowd or impressing on that special Valentine’s dinner you have coming up.
Traditionally, beef fillet is topped with a similar filling and wrapped in pastry before being baked for a classic beef Wellington. This version uses Norwegian salmon, but it can also be made with local trout. Switch the filling up by replacing the kale with spinach or Swiss chard, and use wild mushrooms, if preferred.
The secret to a crisp Wellington is to seal in the fish properly. Use a fork to seal in the edges – this prevents any liquid from leaking and leaves you with evenly cooked fish and a crisp pastry every time.
Using shop-bought pastry saves some time and energy. Always roll it out so that it’s not too thick - this will prevent the dough from puffing up too much and leave you with a nice crisp exterior.
Difficulty: A little effort
Preparation time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Melt 30ml (2 Tbsp) butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add 125ml (½ cup/40g) thinly sliced leeks, 250ml (1 cup/100g) chopped brown mushrooms and 2 (8g) finely chopped garlic cloves. Sauté for 5 minutes until tender.
Stir in 375ml (1½ cups) shredded kale and sauté until wilted, 2 minutes.
Turn off the heat and crumble in 1 (70g) round of feta. Add 60ml (¼ cup/10g) finely chopped dill and stir in 60ml (¼ cup/60g) Mascarpone.
Place the mixture in a food processor and blend until fine. Season it to taste.
Lightly dust a clean counter and rolling pin with some cake flour. Roll 300g of ready-made rolled puff pastry out into a rectangular shape that is slightly bigger than a 500g fresh salmon side. Roll it out until it is about 3mm in thickness.
Place a 450g – 500g skinless salmon fillet in the centre of the pastry and spoon the mushroom and kale filling on top. Spread it out evenly over the fish.
Whisk 1 extra large egg until smooth. Brush the egg all around the exposed pastry.
Roll another 300g sheet of puff pastry out to the same size and thickness as the pastry used for the base under the fish. Place it over the fish to encase it all.
Fold a 1cm border all around the perimeter of the pastry parcel.
Lightly roll 200g of puff pastry out to a rectangle similar to the size of the pastry parcel. Do not roll it as thin as the previous pastry. Use a lattice cutter to cut a pattern into the pastry. If you do not have a lattice cutter, use egg wash to stick any pastry shapes, made with cookie cutters, onto the pastry parcel.
Brush the pastry parcel with more egg wash and lay the lattice pastry on top.
Trim the pastry into a neat rectangle and seal all the sides together by gently pressing into the pastry with a fork.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Egg wash the pastry parcel once more, place on the baking tray and bake for 30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before cutting into slices.
To make a tartare sauce to serve with the salmon Wellington, stir together 1 (20g) small finely chopped shallot, 1 (4g) finely chopped garlic clove, 180ml (¾ cup) French-style mayonnaise, 15ml (1 Tbsp) finely chopped capers, 30ml (2 Tbsp) finely chopped gherkins, 10ml (2 tsp) finely chopped parsley, 10ml (2 tsp) lime juice, 5ml (1 tsp) Dijon mustard and 1 (35g) finely chopped mini cucumber. Season it to taste and serve alongside the salmon Wellington.
TIP: The raw salmon Wellington can be prepared in advance and frozen for later use. Simply prepare the recipe up until step 12. Wrap the Wellington up in some baking paper and freeze for up to 2 months. Bake the Wellington from frozen by egg-washing it and then placing it in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 40 to 45 minutes until golden and crisp.
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