Whole Salt crusted Verlasso salmon

This version of Jamie Oliver’s Whole Salt crusted salmon is so incredibly elegant that we couldn’t leave it out of our holiday offering. Each to put together and nearly fool proof in its execution.  So good that you won’t want to cook salmon any other way!

Serves 8

ingredients

For the Salmon

  • 8-10 Pounds whole Verlasso salmon,  gutted, gills removed, scales left on
  • 4 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 1 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
  • ½ a bunch of fresh-flat leaf parsley 
  • ½ a bunch of fresh marjoram 
  • ½ a bunch of fresh chives 
  • 3 pound box of Diamond Kosher salt
  • 8 large egg whites

For the Basil Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt 
  • Extra virgin olive oil

For the Salsa

  • 2 fresh red bell peppers, seeded, deveined and finely diced
  • 1 fresh green red bell pepper, seeded, deveined and finely diced
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons thin clover honey
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

directions

For the Salmon

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Wash the salmon well both inside and out, then pat dry with kitchen paper (leaving the scales on helps to keep in the moisture as it cooks). Stuff the lemon and fennel rounds into the salmon cavity with the parsley, marjoram and chives. 
  3. Combine the rock salt, eggs and enough water to form a paste (the consistency of a thick milkshake) in a large bowl, then evenly spread one-third of the salt over a large baking sheet, making a slight hollow in the middle to hold the salmon snugly. 
  4. Lay the salmon diagonally into the tray, then spoon over the remaining salt mixture, heaping it around and onto the salmon so that it’s evenly covered – you should have a layer of salt, roughly 1 inch thick, over the salmon. 
  5. Place the tray in the hot oven for around 90 minutes, or until cooked through. To test if the salmon is ready, push a skewer through the salt into the thickest part of the fish – if it comes out warm after 5 seconds, it’s done. 
  6. Once cooked, remove the salmon from the oven and allow to cool for no longer that 1 hour, then with the tip of a knife, carefully slice into the salt, cutting all the way along the salmon spine, being careful not to slice into the fish at this point. Gently lift the salt casing off the salmon, then spoon away and discard the remaining salt, brushing away any excess from the top of the salmon. Peel back the skin and remove the salmon fillet.

For the Basil Yogurt Sauce

  1. Place the basil leaves into a blender, add the mustard, the juice of half a lemon and half the yogurt. Puree until smooth, then fold back through the rest of the yogurt with 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and season to taste.

For the Salsa

  1. Combine the peppers with the mint leaves and a drizzle of honey, then place into a bowl with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and the vinegar, and season to perfection.