How to dress salmon

Updated April 17, 2017

Dressing a whole roasted salmon with sauces, vegetables and garnishes is a great way to add a delicious finishing touch to your meal. A dressed salmon is a worthy centrepiece of any dinner party, Sunday lunch or wedding feast. Whether you go for a classic dressing, such as cucumber and homemade mayonnaise, or a more adventurous flavours like spring onion and tarragon, be sure to pick a recipe that uses ingredients guaranteed to compliment the beautiful flavour of roast salmon.

Cucumber and mayonnaise

Start making the mayonnaise by putting the egg yolks and cold water into the bowl and adding salt and pepper. Whisk the contents of the bowl with the hand whisk. Add 1 tsp of the vegetable oil to the bowl and whisk the mixture again. Pour in the rest of the oil while continuing to whisk the mixture. Halve the lemon and add the juice of one half to the bowl along with the chives. Use the spoon to stir the mayonnaise. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Peel the skin away from your roasted salmon, insert the knife between the two fillets and remove the backbone. Lift the fish on to the chopping board.

Peel the cucumber and cut it into fine slices. Cut the other half of the lemon into slices. Cover the salmon with the cucumber slices so that the slices overlap. Garnish the fish with the lemon slices and watercress and serve it with the mayonnaise.

Spring onion and tarragon sauce

Put the butter into the saucepan and melt it over medium-low heat. Cut the bulbs off the spring onions, dice them and add them to the pan along with a pinch of salt. Let the diced bulbs cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Chop up the spring onion tops, add them to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Make a roux by stirring the flour into the butter and onions. Cook for 1 minute and whisk in the milk gradually. Turn the heat up to medium-high and simmer the mixture until it starts to thicken. Add the tarragon to the mixture and take the pan off the heat.

Pour the mixture into a blender and blend it until it’s smooth. Pour it back into the saucepan and cook it over a medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Once the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of your spoon, take it off the heat and pour the crème fraîche into it. Stir the sauce and season it to taste with salt and pepper. Dress the cooked salmon by pouring the sauce over it.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 medium egg yolks
  • Bowl
  • 1tsp cold water
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 300ml/0.6pt vegetable oil
  • Electric hand whisk
  • Spoon
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • 1 cucumber
  • Watercress
  • Saucepan
  • ½ packet unsalted butter
  • 450g/1lb spring onions
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 473ml/1pt whole milk
  • 59ml/0.2pt crème fraîche
  • 3.3 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves
  • Blender
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About the Author

Based in London, Autumn St. John has been writing career- and business-related articles since 2007. Her work has appeared in the "Guardian" and "Changing Careers" magazine. St. John holds a Master of Arts in Russian and East European literature and culture from University College London, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in modern history from the University of Oxford.