Rice-stuffed Salmon with Herby Buttermilk Sauce Recipe

An impressive meat-free main to rival the classic turkey at Christmas. Find room for it on your festive table this year.

Serves 8 - 1 hr - 826 calories / serving


2 tsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
1 large onion, diced
300g long grain and wild rice
500ml vegetable stock
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
⅔ x 30g pack dill, chopped
⅔ x 30g pack tarragon, leaves chopped
2 whole salmon sides (2kg total), skin on
3 bay leaves
400g fine green beans, trimmed
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
50g pecans, toasted and chopped
1 x 80g pack pomegranate seeds
100ml buttermilk
4 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely crushed

Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, season and cook for 8 mins or until translucent. Add the rice and stock and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 8 mins, adding the tomatoes after 3 mins. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in all but 1 tbsp of the herbs and set aside.

Rinse the salmon and pat dry with kitchen paper. Line a large roasting tin with foil and grease with oil. Lay 3 lengths of kitchen string in the tin at regular intervals and place 1 salmon side on top, skin side down. Spoon a third of the rice over the fish. Put the rest in a lidded container and chill in the fridge. 

Lay the second salmon side on top, skin side up. Tie the strings together tightly to secure, tuck a bay leaf underneath each piece of string and season. Bake for 30-40 mins until cooked through and piping hot in the centre.
Towards the end of the salmon’s cooking time, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Cook the beans for 3-4 mins or until tender, then drain and rinse in cold water. In a large bowl, combine the mustard and vinegar. Season, then whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the beans, pecans and pomegranate seeds, then stir to coat in the dressing.
Whisk the sauce ingredients in a bowl, stir in the reserved herbs and season. Reheat the remaining rice until piping hot. Serve the fish with the green beans and rice.
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