Like many of us who've been locked down for the past few months, I jumped at the opportunity to get away last weekend. My friend Veronica, who lives in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, offered to throw a Christmas in July dinner at home as there are very few local hotels or restaurants, apart from the Hydro Majestic, celebrating it in the mountains this year.
For the table centrepiece she sprayed native leaves and gum nuts with silver spray.
For starters she served individual leaves of witlof filled with diced poached chicken mixed with mayonnaise, tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic and freshly chopped parsley.
The main course was this fabulous salmon dish, a recipe which chef Glenn Bowman had once demonstrated at an Accoutrement cooking class.
A luscious chocolate buche de noel rounded out our fabulous "fake Christmas" dinner.
The only thing missing was the snow.
- Prep Time : 20-25 minutes
- Cook Time : 18-22 minutes
- Yield : 6
- Atlantic Salmon - 1/2 side, skin on, bones removed (or ask your fishmonger to pin-bone it for you)
- sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- Silicon paper
- natural yoghurt - 200ml
- tahini - 50ml
- garlic - 1 clove, crushed
- lemon - 1, juice of
- eschalots - 3, finely chopped
- long red chilli - 1, finely diced
- coriander - 1/2 bunch, washed and shredded
- mint - 1/2 bunch, washed and shredded
- sumac - 5g
- walnuts - 100g, roasted, skins rubbed off and chopped
- extra virgin olive oil - 2 tablespoons
Preheat oven to 140C (120C fan-forced).
Season salmon with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and wrap up tightly in silicon paper.
Bake salmon for 18 - 22 minutes - time will depend on how you like it, but it should be rare.
While salmon cooks, whisk together the tahini and yoghurt, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Remove salmon from oven and open paper to stop it cooking. Transfer carefully to a serving platter and leave to cool.
In another bowl, whisk 60ml olive oil together with the lemon juice. Stir through the eschalots and herbs, sumac and walnuts. Season to taste - you might like to add some lemon zest.
Brush the cold salmon with the yoghurt-tahini mix. Spoon the herb-walnut mix over the top. Serve at room temperature with a crispy green salad and a potato bake or Potato Dauphinoise.