Salmon Roast with Spinach & Mushroom Stuffing

This Salmon Roast is perfect for company dinner. The recipe can be adjusted to serve more or fewer people, simply by buying larger or smaller fillets and adjusting the amount of mushrooms and fresh spinach. Allow 6 to 8 ounces of salmon per serving.

Serving suggestion: a side dish of orzo tossed with Parmesan cheese and olive oil.

Yield: 6 servings

Salmon and Marinade

2 farm-raised skinless salmon fillets (1 to 1 1/2 pounds each)

1 large lemon, zested and juiced, divided as needed

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, divided

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

Stuffing

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

10 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

3 shallots, finely chopped

10 ounces fresh spinach, coarsely chopped, washed and drained (not baby spinach)

2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, optional

To prepare salmon:
Lay the 2 salmon fillets on a sheet of wax paper, interior sides facing up. Sprinkle each interior with 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, several grinds of fresh pepper and 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil. Place sides together. Sprinkle the top side with 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, several grinds of fresh pepper and 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil. Turn the fish “sandwich” over and repeat this on the second side. Place salmon in an ovenproof baking-and-serving dish or in a sauté pan with metal handle. Cover the fish with plastic wrap and refrigerate to marinate while preparing the stuffing.

At this point, preheat oven to 500 degrees.

To prepare stuffing:
In a large saute pan, heat olive oil with butter over high heat. As soon as the butter has melted, add the sliced mushrooms and saute about 3 minutes. While stirring the mushrooms, add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and dried basil. Turn heat down to medium high, stir in the finely chopped shallots. Add the chopped and slightly wet spinach leaves to the pan, stir to combine and cover. Let the spinach mixture steam for 1 minute. Uncover, add remaining lemon zest and stir to combine. Continue to sauté and stir until most of liquid has reduced, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped fresh basil.

To stuff the salmon:
Remove salmon from refrigerator. Uncover and carefully remove the top fillet and rest on wax paper. Place the slightly cooled stuffing mix on top of the fillet remaining in the roasting pan. Place the other fillet on top with the interior side toward the stuffing. If any lemon juice remains, pour over the stuffed salmon. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, if desired. Place in upper third of 500 degree preheated oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Salmon should be beautifully brown and tender when pierced with fork. Let rest 5 minutes and bring to table. There should be sufficient pan juices for an Au Jus with each serving.

Pat Dugan developed this recipe for Salmon of the Americas

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