Alex Mackays Salmon or Halibut with Tomatoes, Olives, Beans and Lemon

This salmon is fresh, light and delightful. Braising beats poaching and steaming as my favourite light method of cooking fish; no flavour is lost, the juices mingle and the fish is exquisite.

You can vary this with any other type of fish, you can also swap the runner beans for any other sort of bean and replace the cannellini beans with lentils or chickpeas.

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From Delia’s Food and Wine Workshops, recipe by Alex Mackay Serves 4

  • method
  • Ingredients


1.    Pre-Heat your oven to 200c/Gas 6 / Rack position upper middle shelf / boil your kettle

2.    Get a large, shallow, ovenproof pan.  Add the olive oil, onion, garlic and water. Put the lid on, sweat over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Add the tinned tomatoes, tinned beans and their liquid. Bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat.

3.    Add the peppers and baby plum tomatoes. Bring back to the boil. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add the artichokes.

4.    Brush each salmon filet with half a tablespoon of olive oil. Season the filets on both sides with salt and a tiny amount of cayenne pepper. Put them at even intervals on top of the vegetables.

5.    Braise in your pre-heated oven for 6 minutes. Turn off the oven, leave the door slightly ajar. Leave to rest for 4 minutes or until you are ready with the runner beans.

6.    While the salmon braises, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. (or use a steamer) Put a colander in your sink. Boil or steam the runner beans for 3-5 minutes or until they are tender. Drain.

7.    Once the salmon is braised, transfer it to a large plate with a fish slice. Gently fold the runner beans, olives and basil into the tomato and bean mixture. Season to taste.  Spoon the sauce and vegetables into deep plates. Put the salmon on top. 

Microplane a little lemon zest over each dish.


4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus 2 tbsp to brush the salmon with
1 medium sized onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
4 tbsp water
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
400g tin cannellini, haricot or butter beans with their liquid
200g tinned or bottled or home roasted peppers, drained and thinly sliced
200g baby plum tomatoes, cut in half
4, 125g filets of skinless salmon, sea trout or halibut
160g young runner beans, sliced thinly (or green or broad beans or a mixture)
4 - 8 depending on size, cooked young artichoke halves (these can be tinned or bottled)
10 Provençal black olives, halved and de-stoned
4 tbsp sliced basil
Zest of half a lemon
Salt, caster sugar and cayenne pepper or piment d’espelette

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