Salmon and watercress pan bagnat

Salmon and watercress pan bagnat

Home Comforts
Yuki Sigura

This really is a treat and – to be honest – it’s massive! But the idea is you make it and it lasts four to five days in the fridge, or you take it on a picnic and feed the masses. Making the pesto-style sauce with watercress gives a peppery result and uses the masses of watercress for which Hampshire – where I live – is so famous. If you ask me, we should use a lot more of it instead of rocket. It has a great taste and we can grow it naturally all year round.


Quantity Ingredient
1.5kg salmon fillet
1 lemon, sliced
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
black peppercorns
A large bunch basil, leaves
2 garlic cloves
60g toasted pine nuts
400g watercress, coarse stalks removed
400ml extra virgin olive oil
6 courgettes, thinly sliced lengthways
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large good-quality pain de campagne loaf
2 red onions, finely sliced
3 x 200g jars roasted piquillo red peppers, opened out


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the salmon into a deep-sided tray with the lemon slices, adding salt and black peppercorns. Cover with water, then place in the oven for 15–20 minutes until just cooked through. Remove and allow to cool slightly before flaking the fish into large pieces.
  2. Make the pesto by putting a little salt, the basil, garlic, pine nuts and two-thirds of the watercress into a processor and blitz until slightly chunky, then add the virgin oil gradually until it forms a thick paste.
  3. Heat a griddle pan until very hot. Toss the courgettes with the regular oil, salt and pepper then place on the griddle in batches and cook for one or two minutes until just cooked through. Remove and set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, take the loaf and cut off the top one-quarter. Spread with pesto and set aside. Scoop out all the crumb from inside the loaf and keep for making breadcrumbs. Spread some of the pesto into the bottom of the loaf.
  5. Arrange one-quarter of the onion slices and piquillo peppers over the pesto.
  6. Place one-quarter of the courgettes on top and press down lightly. Place one-quarter of the remaining watercress on top and press down. Top with one-quarter of the salmon. Repeat the layers, including the pesto, until the loaf is full to the brim, then replace the ‘lid’ on top.
  7. Wrap very tightly in cling film and place in the fridge for at least one hour, but preferably overnight or even up to three days, then unwrap and cut into wedges to serve.
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
comfort food
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