Ah January, the detox/resolution/lose weight/exercise month. Not exactly the most thrilling start to the year, but I guess there has to be some repercussions for eating our bodyweight in stuffing and Quality Street in December. Anyway, so here is my healthier version of Salmon En Croute, a lovely dish to serve for a dinner party, in that it looks quite snazzy but is very easy to prepare (and can be done in advance). Replacing puff pastry with filo is the main healthy switch here, as well as using oil instead of butter and adding an Iron-rich spinach stuffing.
x4 salmon fillets, skinned
350g frozen spinach, roughly
3tbsp creme fraiche
1tsp fresh dill
zest of 1 lemon
x1 packet filo pastry
1 egg, beaten
a handful of poppy seeds
Preheat oven to 180 degrees
1. Place the spinach in a saucepan on a low heat to defrost. Once defrosted, very thoroughly drain and squeeze all the water out of the spinach.
2. In a bowl mix the spinach with the creme fraiche, lemon zest, a couple of capers and fresh dill. Mix and season.
3. Next, take one sheet of filo pastry and lay it on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Gently brush this sheet with a small amount of olive oil, before laying another sheet on top.
*As you do this keep the other filo sheets under a tea towel to stop them drying out and cracking*
4. Place 2 salmon fillets, tightly side by side, on this rectangle of pastry. Top this with the spinach mixture, before laying the final 2 salmon fillets on top.
5. Finish making the parcel, by tightly folding one side of the filo over the salmon- brush this with olive oil so that the next fold sticks- and continue to fold. Do the same with the ends, then carefully turn over the parcel, so that the seams are on the bottom. Brush the top of the parcel with olive oil. Take another sheet of filo and cut into strips, before scrunching these up and sticking on top of the parcel to decorate, almost like flowers. Hopefully the images explain this process more clearly!
* If you’re preparing in advance- refrigerate at this stage until you’re ready to cook it*
6. Glaze with the beaten egg, and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
7. Cook in the hot oven for around 25 minutes, so that the pastry is crisp and golden.
Serve with chunks of lemon, and garnished with the chopped parsley and the remaining capers. Nice with steamed green beans and new potatoes.