Recipe of the week

Salmon en croûte by Mary Berry


Salmon en croûte always makes a lovely festive centrepiece at Christmas. Decorated with puff pastry stars, this recipe is quite simply stunning, and is quick to make. Any leftovers can be reheated the next day or would be equally delicious served cold.

  • 4 red peppers or one 280g jar of roasted mixed peppers in oil
  • 25g butter
  • 225g fresh spinach, washed and coarsely shredded
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 packet ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 2 x 700g salmon fillets, skinned
  • 1 egg, beaten


  • 300ml double cream
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp green pesto
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. If using fresh peppers, cut in half, remove the seeds and place cut-side- down on a baking sheet. Slide into the preheated oven and cook for about 30 minutes until charred and soft. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover tightly with clingfilm (or put in a sealed polythene bag) and leave until cool enough to handle. Remove the skin from the peppers and cut the flesh into thick strips. If using peppers from a jar, drain well and cut into thick strips.

2. Melt the butter in a large pan, add the shredded spinach and cook quickly until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper and leave to cool. Squeeze out any excess moisture. Preheat a large baking tray in the oven.

3. Roll out half the pastry really thinly, to make a rectangle about 20cm by 38cm, ideally on non-stick baking paper (see tip). Place one fillet of salmon in the centre of the pastry, season with salt and pepper, and arrange the peppers and spinach on top. Season the second fillet of salmon and place it on top so that it mirrors the one underneath. Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg.

4. Roll out the remaining pastry thinly so that it is slightly larger than the bottom layer. Carefully lift it over the salmon, enfolding it, trim off any excess and seal the edges. Re-roll the pastry trimmings thinly. Cut out stars from the trimmings. Brush the pastry covering the salmon with beaten egg and decorate with the stars. Brush the stars with the remaining beaten egg.

5. Carefully lift the salmon parcel onto the preheated baking tray on the baking paper, using two fish slices, and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Allow to rest for about ten minutes while making the sauce.

6. To make the sauce, heat the cream, add the lemon juice and pesto, and season with salt and pepper. Add the basil just before serving.

7. Serve the salmon hot in slices with the hot sauce. Preparing ahead Prepare the salmon to the end of step four. Wrap in clingfilm and keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Remember to preheat the baking tray before cooking the salmon. You could also freeze the salmon in the raw pastry, wrapped in foil, then put in a sealed polythene bag. Thaw for about 18 hours in the fridge. tip: Non-stick baking paper is ideal for rolling pastry out on, then transferring the paper and pastry to a baking sheet, then into the oven.

Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection: Over 100 Fabulous Recipes and Tips for a Hassle-free Festive Season is published by Headline Home, price £30

Rather leave the cooking to the experts? We can find you the perfect candidate; from Housekeepers to Gardeners, Nannies to Carers, we source only the most exceptional candidates for your home.

The Lady, home of domestic recruitment now has three options to suit every need and budget. For more information and to get the ball rolling, SIMPLY CALL 020 7379 4717 OR EMAIL