- 1 whole salmon fillet, about 800g, skin-on and well trimmed (organic farmed salmon is best)
- 9 marinated sundried tomatoes, halved
- 18 black olives, preferably Niçoise, pitted
- 18 basil leaves
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Lay the salmon on a board and, using an apple corer, make 18 holes in rows of hree in the salmon fillet, just going down to the skin, but not cutting all the way through.
Take a piece of sun-dried tomato and an olive and, using a basil leaf as a wrapper, roll up into a tight little parcel. Each parcel should be just big enough to plug into one of the holes.
As you roll each parcel, stuff them into the holes until they are all filled.
Place the salmon fillet on a piece of greased foil on a baking tray, then season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast in the oven for 20 mins until just cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to cool until just warm, then carefully lift the salmon onto a serving dish and serve, or leave to cool completely (see Gordon’s tips, below).
Use up the spare salmonThe salmon left over from coring the fillet can be used for making fishcakes or fish pie. You could also make a tartare by finely chopping the salmon and mixing with lemon juice, olive oil, chopped shallot and seasoning, then serving with toast.
Vary the flavourLots of flavours can be used to ‘stud’ the salmon. Try wrapping slices of grilled red pepper, garlic slivers and pieces of anchovy in the basil leaves instead of the sun-dried tomatoes and olives.
Know-how: Out of the ovenTo transfer the fish from the roasting tray to a platter, loosen the fillet by drawing a palette knife between the fish and the foil, then use a palette knife and a fish slice to lift onto the platter. Don’t worry if some of the skin stays stuck to the foil.
Eat it cold the next dayThe flavour of the dish is best when it is served lukewarm, but it is also delicious cold if made the day before. If you do make it ahead, chill the salmon on its serving platter and serve with a lemony mayonnaise rather than the olive dressing.
At the fish counterAsk your fishmonger for a well-trimmed piece of salmon, cut from the middle of the fillet, so it is a uniform size, and make sure the salmon is ‘pin-boned’. Before preparing the fish, stroke the surface to feel for stray bones. If you find any, pull them out with tweezers.