Whole baked salmon with a dill mousse

    2 hours 25 min

    This whole baked salmon with a dill and watercress mousse is perfect for a large exquisite banquet. Perfect for special occasions like Christmas, this dish breaks away from the traditional somewhat, yet celebrates itself in total glamorous style.


    Hampshire, England, UK
    28 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • For the salmon
    • 2 bunches fresh watercress
    • 2 bunches fresh dill
    • 1 good handful fresh parsley, chopped
    • juice of 2 lemons
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • olive oil, to taste
    • 1 (3kg) whole salmon, gutted and cleaned
    • For the mousse
    • 1 bunch fresh dill
    • 150ml creme fraiche
    • 150ml extra thick double cream
    • 1 good handful fresh watercress
    • 1 tablespoon capers
    • juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • salt and pepper, to taste

    Prep:25min  ›  Cook:2hr  ›  Ready in:2hr25min 

    1. Before you start, remove the salmon from the fridge and bring up to room temperature.
    2. For the salmon:

    3. Preheat the oven to 230 C / Gas 8. Place a large rack over a large baking tray (large enough to support as much of the salmon as possible). Cut two large pieces of tin foil, large enough to form a roomy tent around the salmon when needed. Lay the bottom piece of foil on the rack. Place the other sheet of foil aside.
    4. In a bowl, combine the watercress, dill, parsley and the lemon juice then season well, drizzle with olive oil and toss with your hands. Rub the fish generously inside and out with salt, pepper and olive oil. Lay a third of the watercress dill mixture on the tin foil as a bed for the salmon, stuff a third of it into the fish cavity then lay the remainder on top of the fish. Place the second piece of tin foil loosely on top then seal the edges of the two pieces together to form a tent.
    5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at the preheated temperature, then lower the temperature to 180 C / Gas 4 and cook for about a further 90 minutes or until the fish has an even pink colour throughout. The exact timings will depend on the thickness of the fish, to ensure that you don't overcook it, you can remove the fish slightly underdone and allow it to continue steaming in its tent until evenly pink throughout.
    6. For the mousse:

    7. Meanwhile, to make the mousse combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Chill in the fridge.
    8. To serve the salmon, remove from the oven and remove the lid of the tent. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut fillets from the fish, one side at a time, running the knife flat along the skeleton of the fish and serve hot, or cold, with the chilled mousse.


    For a slightly creamier mousse add avocado to the mousse ingredient list or indeed substitute the watercress for 3 avocados.

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    Reviews in English (2)


    I am lucky enough to have tasted both this salmon and mousse (with avocado and watercress) during the holidays and they are both fantastic. Delicious and good for you, too, if you are moderate with the mousse -- which is difficult!  -  06 Jan 2014


    Made this for Christmas a few years ago and it was absolutely delicious. Doing it again this year.  -  21 Dec 2017