3 red peppers, halved and deseeded
2 red onions, cut into eight wedges
3 courgettes, cut lengthways into 1cm slices
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 x 320g packs ready-rolled puff pastry
1 x 1kg (2lb 2oz) side of salmon, skin removed, cut from the centre
3 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto
1 egg, beaten
For the sauce
600ml (1 pint) pouring double cream
juice of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto
4 tablespoons chopped basil
MARY’S WISE WORDS
Try to buy a wide piece of fish rather than a long thin fillet, as it will fit in the oven better. It is also essential to heat the baking tray in the oven first, as this instantly starts to cook the pastry, preventing a soggy bottom! Use basil pesto if you prefer.
Mary says: ‘A dinner party and summer buffet classic, this wonderful dish has stood the test of time because it never fails to look impressive and is so easy to prepare ahead and to serve. Different recipes have cropped up in my books over the years but I make no apology for that as I don’t think you can ever have too many. With its sun-dried tomato pesto, basil and roasted peppers and courgettes, this version brings a taste of the Mediterranean to one of the most British of dishes. Just add new potatoes and a side salad. I prefer to serve it hot, but it can be served at room temperature too’.
Make the ‘parcel’ but do not bake, and keep in the fridge for up to 1 day. Cook as in step 6, on a preheated tray.
Wrap the uncooked ‘parcel’ in foil, then put in a plastic bag and seal. Freeze for up to 1 month.Thaw for about 12 hours in the fridge before baking as in step 6.
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas 7.
2. Place the red peppers, onion and courgette in a large roasting tin with the olive oil and roast for 20–25 minutes, until the vegetables are charred and tender. Allow to cool, then peel and discard the skin from the red peppers and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
3. Place a large baking tray in the oven to heat.
4. Unroll one pack of pastry and roll it out to make it a little longer – about 2cm larger all around – than the piece of fish (check that it will fit on the baking tray – you may have to place it diagonally). Place the pastry on top of a sheet of baking paper so that you can easily slide the completed parcel on to the baking tray. Place the salmon in the centre of the pastry and spread with the pesto, top with the courgettes and onions and lay the red peppers on top. Brush the pastry around the fish with some of the beaten egg.
5. Roll out the other pack of pastry to a rectangle slightly larger than the first one so that it drapes over the fish and filling. Carefully lift it on to the salmon and vegetables, trim off any excess and press the edges down well to seal. Re-roll the pastry trimmings thinly and cut out pastry decorations if you like. Brush the pastry with more beaten egg.
6. Carefully slide the parcel on to the preheated baking tray (still on the parchment) and bake for 35–40 minutes, until golden brown, both on top and underneath. Allow to rest for 10 minutes while you make the sauce.
7. To make the sauce, gently heat the cream, and stir in the lemon juice and pesto. Remove from the heat then stir in the basil just before serving.
8. Serve the salmon en croute, cut into slices, with the sauce in a jug alongside.
Recipe credit: Mary Berry Cooks by Mary Berry (BBC Books) Photography: Georgia Glynn Smith.