A delicious alternative to turkey or perfect dish for a second meal during the festive season.
- 20g unsalted butter
- 3 banana shallots,
- Finely chopped
- 400g spinach, washed
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 1kg salmon fillet, skinned, pinned and trimmed
- 500g block of puff pastry
- Flour, for dusting
- 1 egg, beaten
- Salt and pepper
- 200g watercress, to serve
Preheat the oven to 210°C.
Place the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté the shallots for 5 minutes until softened. Add the spinach to the pan and cook until it is wilted. This will probably take 5–7 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a sieve. Press the spinach with a wooden spoon to squeeze out any excess water, then transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the lemon zest and some seasoning.
Place the salmon on a chopping board and cut it in half. Rub the cut side of a lemon over the top side. Cover the one piece of salmon with the cooked spinach and put the other piece of salmon on top to make an oversized salmon sandwich.
Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured worktop to approximately the thickness of a pound coin and to a size that will encase the salmon pieces. Then place the pastry on a lined baking sheet ready for the oven (this is so you don’t have to move the salmon again). Place the salmon on one half of the puff pastry, leaving a good 2.5cm (1 inch) border on three sides. Brush this border with a little of the beaten egg.
Fold the pastry over the salmon, gently shaping it around the fish and squeezing out the air, then press down on all the edges to seal and trim off any excess pastry.
Use the rest of the beaten egg to glaze the pastry and decorate by scoring with a knife.
Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, 30 if you like your fish fully cooked through. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving with fresh watercress.
Christmas at Highclere by The Countess of Carnarvon, Cornerstone, £30