Try this French classic next time you have a special dinner party – salmon en croûte is surprisingly easy to make and ready to serve in less than an hour.
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Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Place the watercress, cream cheese, breadcrumbs, lemon rind, garlic and chives in a small processor and process until a course puree forms. Season.
Halve each sheet of pastry. Trim about one-third from the base of each sheet to make rectangles that are about 18cm long to fit the salmon fillets. Divide watercress mixture among centre of four sheets, leaving a 3cm border. Place a salmon fillet on each and season. Brush the pastry border with a little egg.
Cut three slits diagonally in the centre of the remaining 4 pastry pieces. Lay each piece of pastry over a salmon fillet, then press down the edges and trim, making each parcel into a neat rectangle. Press the edges with the back of a fork to seal. Brush the pastries all over with remaining egg.
Place parcels on prepared tray. Bake for 20-25 mins or until pastry is golden brown and crisp. Serve with broccolini, asparagus and lemon wedges.
COOK. STORE. SAVE.
This dish can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 1 day before baking. You could also do a smart swap for the salmon by substituting chicken breast fillets to create a more affordable midweek dinner option.
This French culinary classic takes ordinary ingredients and turns them into an impressive meal that is deceptively easy to make. En croûte simply means “with pastry”, but it’s a clever technique that cooks fish beautifully and stylish enough for a special dinner party (or romantic dinner).
Salmon is an excellent source of protein, which helps maintain bone health and prevents muscle loss. It also contains the all-important omega-3 fatty acids, a type of heart-healthy fat that can decrease inflammation and support brain health.
This recipe for salmon en croûte with puff pastry calls for frozen pastry (a great freezer standby). It’s often best to thaw salmon en croûte pastry before using. Frozen pasty is best thawed in the fridge – you want it to stay very cold for best results. Lightly flour your benchtop before placing the pastry on top to prevent it sticking.
Want to make this best salmon en croûte recipe even heartier? Serve it up followed by a lighter dessert, such as this quick choc mousse (still on the French theme). Once you get confident with this recipe, you might also want to take it up a notch with Michael Weldon’s salmon en croûte with mushy pea stuffing for an English take on this French favourite. On colder nights, you could skip the salad and serve with warm veggies, such as Curtis Stone’s roasted vegetables with lemon salsa.