Poached salmon, watercress and olive oil hollandaise

Poached salmon, watercress and olive oil hollandaise

By
From
Nathan Outlaw's Home Kitchen
Serves
4
Photographer
David Loftus

Salmon is perfect for poaching because its light oiliness keeps the fish moist and succulent. Spice up the poaching liquor if you wish, by adding a few whole spices such as coriander and fennel seeds or star anise and cinnamon, or use olive oil instead of water. The salmon is equally good served hot or cold.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 portions salmon fillet (skin on), about 160g each

For the poaching liquor

Quantity Ingredient
75ml verjus or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon peppercorns
2 shallots, peeled and sliced
2 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 litre water

For the watercress hollandaise

Quantity Ingredient
175ml olive oil
1 lemon, finely grated zest and juiced
2 free-range egg yolks
2 tablespoons water
a bunch watercress, washed, leaves picked and finely chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

To finish

Quantity Ingredient
sprigs watercress
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Method

  1. For the poaching liquor, put all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium-high heat. Leave to simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. To make the hollandaise, warm the olive oil in a pan until tepid then add half the lemon zest and remove from the heat; set aside. Put the egg yolks into a medium heatproof bowl and add the lemon juice and water. Stand the bowl over the simmering poaching liquid and whisk using a hand-held electric whisk or balloon whisk, until the mixture thickens enough to form a ribbon when the whisk is lifted.
  3. Remove the bowl from the pan and slowly whisk in the infused olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Once it is incorporated, season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chopped watercress and stir to combine. Cover with cling film to prevent a skin forming; keep warm while you cook the fish.
  4. Add the salmon portions to the simmering poaching liquor and poach gently for 5–6 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. Don’t let the liquor boil or the fish will toughen.
  5. Carefully lift the salmon portions out of the liquor onto a platter or individual plates (warmed if serving hot). Spoon over some of the poaching liquor and finish with watercress sprigs and lemon wedges. Serve the hollandaise in a bowl on the side. You could have seasonal vegetables with this dish but I like it with a simple cucumber salad, dressed with olive oil, wine vinegar and a pinch of salt.
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