A real talking point round the table, this whole salmon will command any meal. Perfect for tucking into with others to be shared and enjoyed, the tomato salsa adds a ripeness that blends with the texture of the fish.
Serves 8 – 10
1 whole gutted scottish salmon, weighing about 3.5kg
Vegetable oil for greasing
Sprigs of parsley
1 sliced onion
2 bay leaves
Sprigs of dill
1 lemon, sliced
Salt and pepper
150mls white wine
For the Tomato Salsa:
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
750g fresh plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/ Fan 150C/ gas mark 3.
2. Make sure all the scales have been removed from the salmon, trim the tail and cut out the fins. Ensure the central cavity is clean by washing the salmon under running cold water.
3. Put a large double layer of foil onto a work surface and grease lightly with oil. Place the on top. Stuff the cavity with the onions, lemon and herbs. Season inside and out with salt and pepper.
4. Fold the foil up around the salmon and pour the wine into the parcel. Wrap the foil loosely around the salmon and bring together to form a tight seal. Place the salmon on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven. Cook for 1 ½ – 1 ¾ hours. (Calculate 15 minutes per 500g.)
5. Remove the salmon from the oven and allow to sit for 5 – 10 minutes before opening the foil.
6. Open the foil to allow the salmon to cool down as quickly as possible.
7. Meanwhile make the tomato salsa: Put the olive oil in a saucepan and heat very gently. It should be just over hand heat and certainly not too hot. Add the onion, chilli and garlic and keep over a very low heat so that the flavours infuse together for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down. Once the onions are cold add the tomatoes, vinegar, mint and season to taste with salt and pepper.
8. To prepare the salmon carefully remove the skin and discard. Place the salmon on a long plate and pour the salsa over the top. Garnish with rocket leaves.
If you wish to fillet the cooked salmon and serve off the bone start by cutting down backbone and then down the central line of the salmon and lift away in two fillets. Turn each fillet over and place skinned side down on the plate, pushing them back together. Remove any pin or rib bones. Lift the main carcass of the bones away, including the pin bones and turn the fillet over on top of the other two. Remove any extra skin. Don’t worry if the salmon breaks (with a large fish this often happens) as it is to be covered with the tomato salsa. The salmon can be served with or without the head and tail.