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Noisettes of Salmon with Saffron Sauce and Dill Pesto

Noisettes of Salmon with Saffron Sauce and Dill Pesto

This is one of our Patron, Prue Leith‘s, recipes using salmon, packed with omega-3, and two tasty sauces to accompany it.

Serves 4


4 x 170g salmon cutlets, cut 3.5cm in thick

1 tablespoon oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sprigs of fresh dill

Dill Pesto

A large handful of fresh dill

55g blanched almonds

2 cloves garlic

30g parmesan cheese, freshly grated

150 ml extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Saffron Sauce

100ml dry white wine

1 shallot, finely chopped

½ teaspoon saffron filaments

150ml double cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Prepare the salmon noisettes: carefully remove the bones from the cutlets. Using a sharp knife, slice the skin away from the flesh halfway round the cutlet. Fold the skinned piece of fish into the centre and wrap the rest of the cutlet round the outside. Tie with string. Press the noisettes between 2 plates and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Make the pesto: put the dill, almonds and garlic into a food processor and whizz to a paste. Add the cheese and continue to blend until well mixed. With the motor running, gradually pour the oil into the herb mixture in a steady stream. It should be well emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep in a covered jar in a cool place.

Make the saffron sauce; put the wine, shallot and saffron into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the wine is reduced to half its original quantity. Add the cream and reduce until syrupy by boiling rapidly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat the grill to its highest setting.

Brush the salmon noisettes on both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the salmon noisettes for about 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked (they should be opaque and firm).

To serve: remove the string and skin and arrange the salmon noisettes on 4 dinner plates. Spoon a little of the saffron sauce around one side and a little pesto around the other. Garnish each salmon noisette with a sprig of dill.

Recipe © Leith’s Cookery Bible by Prue Leith & Caroline Waldegrave

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