Salmon Wellington is known by many as salmon en croûte or puff pastry salmon is one of these superb-looking easy salmon fillet recipes that you can always choose to make and will not only please but wow any crowd.
What is Salmon wellington?
Salmon Wellington is a savoury dish and consists of seasoned salmon fillet that is placed on a bed of cheesy sautéed spinach and wrapped into puff pastry or any homemade pastry dough, gets egg-washed and lastly baked in the oven.
The outcome is simply beautiful. It is one of those dishes that is easy to make for entertaining especially when guests announce their visit at the last minute.
Origins of salmon Wellington
The origins of salmon Wellington dates back to Tudor times in England (mid-1400s to early 1600s).
It was beef Wellington then - a fillet of beef coated with pâté and mushroom duxelles that was also wrapped in pastry and baked. It was a very popular dish among the 'upper class'. I am very grateful this beautiful dish was invented then so we can enjoy it today. Could we call this an English dish? We could, right? It was such a very clever idea!
Later this Wellington dish idea became a subject of experimenting with other types of protein that were a little more affordable and this is how it arrived at the salmon idea.
Now, fish it's as expensive, salmon in particular. Again, I am highly grateful they have experimented then so we can have this scrumptious salmon Wellington dish and replace the red meat which we all know it's good but we should only eat it in moderation.
What is mushroom duxelles?
Duxelles consists of finely chopped mushrooms, onions (or shallots), herbs (thyme or parsley) salt and black pepper, sautéed in olive oil or butter and reduced to a paste. Sometimes cream is added, and even a dash of Madeira or sherry for some extra flavours. It is delicious.
In this recipe, I just added the spinach with cheese but many times I add some nice chopped mushroom and that is beautiful too.
Ingredients needed to make salmon Wellington A.K.A. Salmon en croûte
- Salmon Fillet Look out for good wild-caught salmon, yes, it is pricier but it is so much better and nutrient-rich than the regular farmed salmon. It is also important that your salmon fillet is skinless. If the salmon is sold skin-on, ask the fishmongers to remove it for you.
- Pastry If this is frozen it is important to take it out of the freezer on time to be at room temperature when working with it.
- Egg wash It is an important one as it will make your salmon wellington look a real treat and a lot more attractive. Brushing will only take 30 seconds.
- Spinach and creme cheese A combo made in heaven that cannot be replaced although I sometimes add chopped mushrooms too. These also help with keeping the salmon nice and moist.
- Lemon Added as the last thing just before serving for a touch of tanginess, freshness, and much needed with any protein, seafood, in particular, acidity.
- Seasonings. A combination of salt, pepper, nutmeg, garlic, to give the dish the ultimate to die for flavours. Thyme is also nice to add if you like. Do not forget the nutmeg! This makes a true difference.
How to make Salmon wellington
- First, sauté the onion with butter or oil or ghee, garlic in a pan or in a skillet. Then add the cream cheese, spinach, and grated Parmesan.
- Roll and cut the thawed puff pastry which should be at room temperature to avoid pastry to crack/break.
- Place the lightly seasoned salmon onto the puff pastry, add the spinach mixture on top and fold the puff pastry over the salmon.
- Transfer the salmon to the prepared (lined with parchment paper) oven tray, give it a good egg wash a sprinkle of sesame seeds and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes.
what pastry to use for salmon wellington?
If you want to challenge yourself with making your own pastry, absolutely, go for it! It is not the hardest thing at all! I do encourage you to do it! Homemade pastry can be made in several ways and phyllo pastry is probably the most challenging one to make at home. I do make my own pastry sometimes if I have some extra time and that is very rewarding as at least you know the recipe it's made from scratch.
Any vegetables are great like peas, broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, spring greens, collard, Swiss chard and grilled courgettes/zucchinis. Mushed potato or any of these freshly made salads will be the perfect made-in-heaven match.
You may also choose to make individual wraps with small fillets rather than a whole large fillet. You should not use more than 100g fillets as the wraps could easily turn into giant portions with a lot of pastry.
Making ahead this dish for easy entertaining is an option, here's how:
A few hours up to a day before:
Prepare it all like it's almost ready to make it to the oven just do not egg wash. Wrap it in cling film and store it refrigerated until ready to bake.
Place in a container or on a plate just in case you get some juices escaping. Egg wash just before going into the oven, a few hours later or the next day.
More than a day before:
I totally do not recommend baking it and then freezing it, instead, get it all ready again, wrap in cling film and freeze it in an airtight container.
Take out of the freezer, remove all the wrapping place on a baking tray, egg wash and bake in a preheated oven adding 5-10 min longer than the original baking time.
Place leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
The salmon should be allowed to come to room temperature, then reheat in the oven at 180C or 360F for approximately 13 minutes. It needs to warm all through.
If you insist, it can be rewarmed in the microwave in no time, but I do not recommend it as the pastry will become soggy and of course, the fish will dry out which is exactly the opposite of what we want this dish to be like.
Crispy on the outside and moist inside. I would only consider the oven but yes, as a last resort, the microwave will help.
Other salmon recipes you will love:
- Salmon and crudites salad with coconut blossom nectar and umami salt vinaigrette
- Salmon warm salad with swiss chard and pasta
- Refreshing salmon pate
- Salmon, pesto and asparagus bake
- Tatsoi, hoisin salmon stir-fry
- Salmon, rice and broccoli delicious mess
- 500 g salmon fillet (18 oz) (skin off ideally)
- 8 tbsp fresh dill (4 oz) freshly chopped
- 1 pack filo pastry or homemade wholemeal pastry at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp salt kosher or pink Himalayan used for both spinach and salmon to season
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg freshly ground
- 400 g fresh spinach (14 oz)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 40 g parmesan cheese (1.5 oz) grated
- 1 med onion finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil or ghee
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds I used mixed (black and white)
- 1 small egg beaten
- 2-3 tbsp cream cheese or heavy cream
- While making all the preps for this salmon Wellington dish, keep the salmon fillet in the fridge.
- Place the oven rack in the centre of your oven. Preheat the oven at 200°C or 400°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Place a larger frying pan over medium heat, add the olive oil or ghee, garlic and onion. Cook until translucent.
- Add the spinach, salt, and pepper, nutmeg and cook until the spinach is wilted. Add cream cheese and cook until all juices have reduced, for approximately 4 min.
- Add the parmesan, dill and stir until well combined. Remove from heat and set aside.
- On a chopping board, unroll and smooth out the sheet of puff pastry and place the salmon (skin side up) in the middle of the pastry sheet. Season both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper.
- Spoon over the top of the salmon fillet the spinach mixture, spreading this equally over the salmon and smoothing it out so that it does not spill over the sides.
- Fold the edges of the pastry over the salmon and spinach. Start with folding the longer sides followed by the shorter ones. Trim any excess pastry from the ends (if any) then fold the ends over the top. Flip the pastry-wrapped salmon over and transfer in the prepared and parchment-lined baking tray.
- Brush over the beaten egg covering well all the sides of the pastry. Use a knife to score the top of the pastry whatever pattern you wish to make. Brush with the leftover egg a little more. Sprinkle the sesame seeds.
- Transfer the tray with the salmon into the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 200°C or 400°F or until the pastry becomes golden brown. I like it quite nice and brown but careful not to burn it.
- When ready, take out of the oven, take the salmon out with a serving spatula place on a chopping board and cut into portions. Serve immediately and enjoy! Heavenly!
- Add it (in Step 3) the and cook when the onion is almost done to reduce down the runny cream.
- Add 1/4 cup breadcrumbs in step 4 after wilting the spinach and added the cream too. Add the breadcrumbs too. Will help with soaking up the cream.