Salmon ballotine with fennel, samphire and lemon

The Recipes / Fish

The Castle at Taunton, Somerset

Half a salmon fillet
Zest of 2 lemons
20g each dill & parsley
18g ground white pepper
20g chives

Lemon purée
2 whole lemons, plus juice of 2 lemons
Stock syrup

Fennel purée
2 heads of fennel
50g butter
100ml cream

200ml rapeseed oil
50ml white wine vinegar
Sprig of thyme
1 clove garlic, minced

30g marsh samphire
Fresh herbs and salad leaves

Serves 4

Ask your fishmonger to remove the skin and bloodline from the salmon fillet – this takes precision and time.

Bring a litre of water with 200g of salt to the boil then remove from heat. Stir in the lemon zest, the chopped stalks from the dill and parsley, and white pepper. Once the brine is completely cooled, pour it over the fish to cover and leave for 30 minutes, then rinse the salmon under a cold tap and place on a cloth to remove excess water.

Using a sharp knife, finely chop the chives, dill and parsley leaves. Roll the salmon in the chopped herbs and wrap tightly in cling film. To finish the ballotine, bring water to a simmer in a pan and immerse the cling filmed ballotine for 10 seconds. Take out and chill in iced water. Once cold leave in the fridge until ready to serve.

For the lemon purée, cover the whole lemons with water in a pan and boil for 7 minutes, then blend and adjust by adding stock syrup and fresh lemon juice to taste.

Remove and chop the fennel stalks. Bring to the boil in a pan with butter, salt and pepper, then add the cream and simmer for 12–18 minutes until soft. Strain and reserve the cream. Blend the stalks in a processor, adding the strained cream for texture. Slice the remaining fennel bulbs lengthwise and char-grill to sear the edges.

When ready, mix the vinaigrette, seasoning with salt and pepper, and dress the samphire, charred fennel, and remaining salad and herbs. Remove the ballotine from the cling film and slice into serving portions, arranging the purées on the plate.