Minggu, 30 November 2008

Oven-baked salmon with beetroot

I've been asked to come up with various Christmas menu options - but by the readers of my Estonian site as well as some university friends. One of the menus is fish-centered, so for the last week I've tried to come up with a suitably festive main course. Although various white fish (pike-perch aka zander, Northern pike etc) are more traditional here in Estonia, then fresh Norwegian salmon is easily and universally available across the country. Therefore I've decided to use a red fish at the centre of my fish menu. Inspiration for this comes from a Finnish Ruokamaailma magazine, but I've tweaked it sufficiently to consider the recipe my own. I served it last night to a group of friends who came over for some food and board games, and it was very well received :)

So, for Christmas 2008 the Beetroot Princess suggests:

Oven-baked salmon with beetroot
(Ahjulõhe peediga pühadelauale)

Serves 6

1 kg salmon filet, trimmed
2 tsp salt
0.5 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
about 3-4 small cooked beets (either boiled or roasted)
2 Tbsp olive oil

Carefully remove all pin-bones from the salmon filet. (I like to cut off the thin side of the salmon filet and use that for another dish - perhaps soup - on the following day. I think the thick part of the filet looks much more festive, plus you it's easier to cook the fish uniformly).

Cut the fish filet into thick portions (this helps to serve the fish nicely later), but leave the skin intact. Place in an oiled oven dish. Season with salt and pepper and scatter lots of chopped dill on top.

Peel the beets and cut into thin slices. Using a small shot glass, cut the slices into uniformly sized small rounds. Layer these like fish scales on top of the salmon. Drizzle with olive oil.

If you like dill, then you can scatter more dill on top at this stage.

Cover the oven dish with a piece of foil and bake in a pre-heated 200 C / 400 F oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish and desired level of pinkness.

Serve with steamed couscous or boiled potatoes.

This recipe was also included in my second cookbook, Jõulud kodus ("Christmas at Home"), published in Estonian in November 2011.