Salmon with a Saffron Couscous Crust and Tomato & Olive Vinaigrette - Unlive - Waitrose

This is unusual but works like a dream and is very simple to prepare. The couscous crust encases the salmon and keeps all the fragrant juices inside intact. Served with a watercress, rocket and spinach salad, it makes a perfect main course for entertaining.

Serves 4

Adapted from Delia’s Summer Collection

Salmon with a Saffron Couscous Crust and Tomato & Olive Vinaigrette - Unlive - Waitrose
 4 (550g) Waitrose Select Farm Salmon Fillets
 1 good pinch saffron
 150g couscous
 200ml dry white wine
 1 egg, beaten
 sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the tomato vinaigrette:
 225g tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped small (1 minute in boiling water and the skins will slip off easily)
 75g pitted baby Kalamata olives, chopped to the same size as the tomatoes
 1 fat clove garlic
 1 rounded teaspoon wholegrain mustard
 1 tablespoon Fattorie Giacobazzi Chardonnay Wine Vinegar
 1 tablespoon lemon juice
 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
 Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5.

You will need a lightly greased baking sheet  and a mini whisk.


First of all prepare the couscous. All you do is place it in a bowl, then heat up the wine to a gentle simmer and use a mini whisk to whisk in the saffron along with some seasoning, and pour the whole lot over the grains and give it a stir. Then leave it to one side until all the liquid has absorbed.

Now use a sharp knife to carefully skin the salmon fillets. To do this, place one piece of salmon skin side down on a board and, holding it firmly in place, slide the knife between the skin and flesh, pressing the knife down against the skin, using slight sawing movements to remove the flesh from the skin. It’s easier than it sounds, don’t worry.

After this, fluff the couscous with a fork. Then take each fillet, season and dip it first into beaten egg, then using your hands, coat it on all sides, pressing the couscous evenly all round (it works in just the same way as breadcrumbs). Now place the coated fillets on the baking sheet, pop them onto the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 15–20 minutes or a little longer if the fish is very thick.

To make the vinaigrette, crush the garlic with 1 level teaspoon of sea salt, using a pestle and mortar, then add the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and a good seasoning of black pepper, and whisk thoroughly before adding the tomatoes, olives and chopped flat-leaf parsley.

Serve each salmon fillet with some vinaigrette spooned all round and pass the rest separately.

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