We enjoyed this dish one hot still summer evening, sitting outside in the garden. It seemed just perfect; light, but at the same time full of fabulous different tastes which all meld together magically.

The idea for the goats’ cheese sauce comes from Belinda Stride’s recipe for a starter of asparagus wrapped in prosciutto. The amount in the recipe will give you about double what you need, but it makes a wonderful dip for another occasion, or you could make her starter. It’s not worth making less because of the packet sizes. If you are short of time, however, you could simply use bought hollandaise, make some aioli (the cheat’s version with mayonnaise and garlic).

Serve this with crushed lemony potatoes.

Very conveniently, this dish freezes well.

You can, of course, make this with ordinary skinless salmon fillets, but it isn’t quite as good!

 

Recipe for hot smoked salmon in parchment

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 sheets of baking paper, approximately 20cm/1” square
  • 1 x 290g/10 oz artichoke hearts in olive oil
  • 4 skinless hot smoked salmon fillets, weighing about 200g/7 oz each
  • generous grinds of nutmeg
  • 1 x 85g/3 oz tin (65g/2 oz drained weight) smoked oysters
  • 25g/¼ cup shelled pistachios
  • 100g/4 oz asparagus tips
  • 12 green seedless grapes
  • 1½ lemons
  • smoked salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the creamy goat’s cheese sauce

  • 100g/4oz soft goat’s cheese – Tesco’s spreadable is perfect for this
  • 120ml/½ cup full fat crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • handful of fresh herbs – ideally parsley and chives
  • juice and zest of half a lemon
  • smoked salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Use the oil in the artichoke jar to oil the sheets of baking paper.
  3. Lift the artichoke hearts out of the jar, cut lengthwise into quarters, and distribute them between the sheets of paper to form a rectangular bed on each.
  4. Oil (using the artichoke oil) the salmon fillets and season on both sides with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. If you find you are skinning your knuckles trying to grate the nutmeg, follow this link for the best nutmeg grater.
  5. Roughly chop the pistachios and press onto both sides of the salmon. Place each salmon fillet on its own bed of artichokes.
  6. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus (to see how easy this is to do, follow this link), and cut it into 3 cm/1” pieces. Cut the grapes in half lengthwise.
  7. Scatter the grapes, asparagus, and drained smoked oysters over the fish fillets. Sprinkle over the zest of one lemon, and then squeeze over this lemon’s juice.
  8. Drizzle over a little more oil. Then wrap up the fish, tucking the loose ends under. Bake for about twenty minutes (until the fish is cooked through, no longer translucent).
  9. To make the sauce, in a non-stick pan mix together the goat’s cheese and the crème fraîche. Beat in the oil. snip in the herbs, salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice. Stir. Warm gently, but don’t let it get hot.
  10. Serve the salmon packages with the sauce and the remaining half lemon, cut into four.