Recipe

Maggie Beer's baked salmon wrapped in vine leaves

As featured on the Easter with The Australian Women's Weekly TV special.

  • 1 hr 15 mins cooking
  • Serves 8 - 10
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Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (40g) currants
  • ½ cup (125ml) verjuice
  • 100 grams unsalted butter
  • ½ cup cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium (120g) red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium (600g) fennel bulbs, trimmed, sliced thinly
  • ¼ cup (50g) pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup preserved lemon, pulp discarded, rind chopped finely
  • 20 preserved vine leaves, rinsed and dried
  • 1 whole (3kg) salmon, filleted, fillets skinned and pin boned
VERJUICE BUTTER SAUCE
  • 2 golden shallots, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup (250ml) verjuice
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 tbsp thickened cream
  • 175g unsalted butter, chilled, chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Method

  • 1
    Combine currants with verjuice in small bowl; microwave on low power for 2 minutes to plump up. Drain and reserve the verjuice.
  • 2
    Heat a medium non-stick frypan over a high heat. Add half the butter and olive oil and cook the onion and a third of the sliced fennel, stirring for about 4 to 5 minutes or until softened. Remove and place into a mixing bowl along with pine nuts, currants, tarragon, preserved lemon.
  • 3
    Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Spread the remaining sliced fennel onto a shallow roasting tray, large enough to fit the salmon.
  • 4
    Place the vine leaves, slightly overlapping, in a rectangle on a chopping board or bench large enough to encase the salmon.
  • 5
    Place one of the fillets onto the vine leaves, cut side up and season with salt and pepper. Pack the pine nut stuffing mixture on top, then lay the other fillet on top, cut side down. Season with sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper.
  • 6
    Wrap the salmon fillets with the vine leaves encasing the salmon. Tie up with kitchen twine and place on top of the fennel on the roasting tray. Pour over reserved verjuice, dot with remaining butter and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  • 7
    Bake for 25 minutes, then turn over and bake for a further 35 minutes, basting the salmon twice throughout the cooking time. The salmon should be cooked when internal temp reaches 52°C in the thickest part. Remove from oven and rest.
VERJUICE BUTTER SAUCE
  • 8
    Meanwhile, place the shallots, verjuice and salt into a small saucepan over a medium high heat and reduce down to 2 tablespoons. Add the cream and reduce the heat to low. Add the butter a little bit at a time and whisk until smooth, taking care not to boil the mixture. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and season, strain and discard shallots and keep the sauce warm.
  • 9
    To serve, cut the salmon into thick slices and serve with verjuice butter sauce.

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