Garlic-Herb Salmon en Croute with Fennel and Cucumber Salad

Dill, tarragon, parsley and chives flavor a garlic salmon dish; serve with a refreshing salad alongside.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, cut into small dice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup mixed minced herbs, such as chives, parsley, tarragon and dill
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated or pasted
  • 2 pounds skinless salmon filet
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, such as DuFour brand (available in freezer section of market), defrosted in refrigerator for 2 hours then gently rolled out on floured surface
  • 1 large egg mixed with a splash of water
  • Caperberries, for garnish (optional)
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For the fennel and cucumber salad:

  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • About 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 small bulbs fennel, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 English (seedless) cucumber, very thinly sliced
  • 6 large radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • Fennel fronds and chopped herbs of choice, for garnish
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Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat two turns olive oil and sauté the mushrooms until browned. Season with salt and pepper and cool.

For the salmon, combine the cream cheese with the herbs, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper. Halve the salmon through the middle into two pieces of equal thickness. Season the salmon with salt and pepper.

Cut the rolled dough into two pieces across the center. Place one half sheet of dough on the baking sheet and center the salmon on the dough. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture on top of the salmon fillet and top with other half of the salmon. Top with remaining cream cheese mixture and the cooled mushrooms. Set the pastry top in place and seal the edges. Lightly score with a cross-hatch pattern on an angle, being careful not to cut through dough. Bake for 25 minutes, then brush with egg wash and bake for 20 minutes longer to cook the salmon through and until the dough is puffed and brown.

For the salad, combine the crème fraiche with lemon juice, vinegar and EVOO to thin it out a bit. Season the dressing with sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Add the fennel and cucumber, radishes and onion and toss to coat. Garnish with fronds and herbs of choice.

To serve, transfer the salmon en croute to a serving board and slice. Serve hot or at room temperature with caperberries and the salad alongside.

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