Delia Smith Salmon En Croute Recipe

Delia Smith Salmon En Croute Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 40 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr 10 Mins

Today, I’m going to share with you a delicious recipe for salmon en croute, inspired by the famous British cook Delia Smith. This is a perfect dish for a special occasion, as it looks impressive and tastes amazing. You will learn how to make a quick flaky pastry, a creamy spinach filling, and a herb sauce to go with the salmon.

Let’s get started!

What is salmon en croute?

Salmon en croute is a French term that means salmon in pastry. It is a classic dish that consists of a piece of salmon fillet wrapped in a thin layer of pastry, usually puff pastry, and baked until golden and crisp. The salmon can be stuffed with various fillings, such as cheese, herbs, spinach, mushrooms, or pesto. The pastry seals in the moisture and flavor of the salmon, making it tender and juicy.

What is Delia Smith Salmon En Croute Recipe?

Delia Smith Salmon En Croute Recipe is a delicious and elegant dish that consists of a salmon fillet wrapped in a flaky pastry crust and baked until golden and crisp. It has a spinach and cream cheese filling that adds a creamy and savory contrast to the salmon. It is served with a simple herb sauce that brings a touch of freshness and brightness to the dish. This recipe is inspired by the famous British cook Delia Smith, who is known for her easy and reliable recipes.

Why You Love this Recipe

  • Ideal for Celebrations: With its elegant presentation and exquisite taste, this dish stands out on any special occasion, delighting both the eyes and the palate.
  • Convenience and Simplicity: Despite its sophisticated appearance, the recipe is straightforward and can be prepared ahead of time, offering a stress-free option for dinner parties and festive gatherings.
  • Nutritious and Flavorful: Enjoy the health benefits of salmon, a rich source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, paired with spinach, known for its high iron and vitamin C content. This dish is not only tasty but also nourishing.
  • Customizable to Taste: The recipe’s flexibility allows for personalization. Feel free to experiment with different fish varieties, cheeses, and herbs, tailoring the dish to your specific flavor preferences.

Ingredients Needed to Make Delia Smith Salmon En Croute

For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

For the quick flaky pastry:

  • 75g butter or block margarine
  • 110g plain flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • Cold water to mix

For the filling:

  • 450g piece of salmon fillet, skinned and any bones removed, cut into 4 even-sized steaks (or 4 skinless and boneless salmon fillets weighing approximately 110g each)
  • 10g butter (a heaped teaspoon)
  • 140g packet watercress, rocket, and spinach salad (any larger stalks removed)
  • 180g full-fat cream cheese
  • 1 free-range egg yolk (white reserved for the salmon)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Some freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the herb sauce:

  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp snipped fresh chives
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 200g full-fat crème fraîche
  • Juice of ½ lemon


  • 1 free-range egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Flour, for dusting
  • Baking paper
  • A large frying pan
  • A baking sheet with a liner or lightly greased

Instructions to make Delia Smith Salmon En Croute?

To make this recipe, follow these steps:

Step 1: Make the quick flaky pastry

  • Cut the butter into small cubes and place them in a bowl. Put the bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes, until the butter is very cold.
  • Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and toss it with the flour, using a knife. Do not rub the butter with your fingers, as you want to keep it in pieces.
  • Sprinkle some cold water over the mixture, and use the knife to bring it together into a rough dough. You may need about 3-4 tablespoons of water, depending on the flour. Do not overwork the dough, as you want to keep it crumbly and flaky.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a rectangle. Roll it out into a long strip, about three times as long as it is wide. Fold the bottom third of the pastry up over the middle third, and then fold the top third down over that. You should have a neat square of pastry with three layers. This is called a single turn.
  • Give the pastry a quarter turn, so that the open edge is on your right. Roll it out again into a long strip, and repeat the folding process. This is another single turn. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill it in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  • Repeat the rolling and folding process two more times, giving the pastry a total of four single turns. This will create many layers of butter and flour, which will puff up in the oven. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill it in the fridge until you need it.

Step 2: Make the spinach filling

  • Place the frying pan on a high heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the salad leaves and wilt them for about 1 minute, stirring them around until they have collapsed. Tip them into a sieve over a bowl and leave them to cool.
  • Use the back of a wooden spoon to press the wilted greens against the sieve and extract any juices. Then place them on a chopping board and press with several sheets of kitchen paper to extract any wetness that remains.
  • Spoon the spinach into a small bowl and stir in the cream cheese, egg yolk, lemon juice, nutmeg, and some salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.

Step 3: Assemble the salmon parcels

  • Divide the rested pastry into 4 even pieces and roll the first piece very thinly into an oblong, the same shape as the salmon fillet, roughly 21cm by 15cm. You will need to adjust the size of the pastry according to the shape of the salmon fillet.
  • Spread a quarter of the spinach mixture, about the same size as the fillet, in the center of the pastry. Place a salmon fillet on top and season it with salt and pepper.
  • Using a pastry brush, dampen the corners of the pastry with cold water. Fold the pastry over one of the shortest edges of the salmon first, and then do the same with the opposite side. Now dampen the pastry along the edges that still need to be folded in, and fold them over the salmon, overlapping and enclosing the salmon like a parcel.
  • Carefully turn the parcel over and put it onto a parchment-lined tray. Do the same with the remaining salmon fillets, then pop them in the fridge until you need them. If you are preparing them in advance, cover them with a piece of cling film.

Step 4: Bake the salmon en croute

  • When you are ready to bake them, preheat the oven to 220°C, Gas Mark 7, with a baking tray inside.
  • Place the parcels on the baking sheet, with a liner, then make 3 diagonal slashes in each one and brush each one with beaten egg mixed with milk. This will give them a nice golden crust.
  • Bake for 20 minutes on a high shelf, until crisp and golden.

Step 5: Make the herb sauce

  • While the salmon is baking, make the herb sauce. Place all of the ingredients in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
  • Leave the salmon en croute to rest for about 15 minutes before carving into thick slices. Serve with the herb sauce and some steamed new potatoes or green beans.
Delia Smith Salmon En Croute
Delia Smith Salmon En Croute

What Do I Serve With Delia Smith Salmon En Croute

Accompanying Delia Smith’s Salmon En Croute with complementary side dishes enhances the overall dining experience. While the original recipe suggests steamed new potatoes or green beans, there are other enticing options to consider:

  • Fresh Green Salad: A light and refreshing choice, a salad dressed with a tangy vinaigrette offers a crisp contrast to the richness of the salmon.
  • Lemon-Garlic Roasted Vegetables: Try roasted asparagus or broccoli, seasoned with lemon zest and garlic, for a flavorful and healthy addition.
  • Buttery Mashed Potatoes or Cauliflower: For a comforting side, mashed potatoes or cauliflower with a touch of butter and a sprinkle of chives can be a delightful pairing.
  • Aromatic Rice Pilaf or Couscous: Enhance your meal with a side of rice pilaf or couscous, enriched with a mix of dried fruits and nuts for a sweet and savory balance.

Salmon En Croute Recipe Delia Smith

Expert Tips to Make Perfect Delia Smith Salmon En Croute

Enhance your experience of preparing Delia Smith’s Salmon En Croute with these expert tips, ensuring a perfect result every time:

  1. Thoroughly Drain Spinach: To prevent a moist pastry, it’s crucial to drain and firmly squeeze the spinach. This step is key to achieving a crisp, flaky crust.
  2. Uniform Salmon Portions: For consistent cooking and an appealing presentation, cut the salmon into uniform pieces. This ensures each portion is cooked to perfection.
  3. Secure Pastry Edges: Carefully seal the pastry edges around the salmon. A tight seal keeps the savory filling inside and maintains the shape during baking.
  4. Strategic Pastry Slits: Introduce a few slashes atop the pastry. These act as steam vents, aiding in the formation of a golden, crisp crust.
  5. Resting Time: Allow the baked Salmon En Croute to rest for approximately 15 minutes before slicing. This pause lets the filling set and the pastry to attain its optimal texture.

Variations of Delia Smith Salmon En Croute

Customize Delia Smith’s Salmon En Croute to your taste with these delightful variations. Experimenting with different ingredients adds a unique twist to this classic dish:

  • Pastry Alternatives: Swap the flaky pastry for puff pastry for a lighter, airier crust that adds a different texture to the dish.
  • Diverse Fish Choices: Consider using trout, cod, or haddock as alternatives to salmon. Each fish offers a distinct flavor and texture.
  • Cheese-Infused Spinach Filling: Elevate the spinach filling with grated parmesan or feta cheese. This adds a rich, savory dimension to the filling.
  • Nutty Additions: Introduce chopped walnuts, pine nuts, or pistachios into the spinach mixture for an added crunch and nutty flavor.
  • Flavorful Cream Cheese: Mix mustard, horseradish, or pesto into the cream cheese for a spicy and flavorful kick.
  • Herbal Sauce Variations: Experiment with different herbs like basil, tarragon, or mint in the herb sauce for a unique flavor profile.

How do I store Delia Smith Salmon En Croute Leftovers?

If you have any leftovers of Delia Smith Salmon En Croute, you can store them in the fridge or freezer, following these steps:

  • Fridge: Let the salmon en croute cool completely, then wrap it tightly in cling film or foil, or place it in an airtight container. Store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freezer: Let the salmon en croute cool completely, then wrap it tightly in cling film and foil, or place it in a freezer-safe container. Label and date it, and store it in the freezer for up to a month.

How do I reheat Delia Smith Salmon En Croute Leftovers?

Efficiently reheat your Delia Smith Salmon En Croute leftovers while maintaining their quality and flavor, using these methods:

  • Oven Method:
    1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4).
    2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    3. Slice the leftover Salmon En Croute and arrange the pieces on the sheet.
    4. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent drying.
    5. Reheat for 15-20 minutes until thoroughly warmed and the pastry regains its crispness.
  • Microwave Method:
    1. Slice the leftover Salmon En Croute.
    2. Place the slices on a microwave-safe dish.
    3. Cover them loosely with a damp paper towel to retain moisture.
    4. Heat for 2-3 minutes, or until warm throughout and tender.


Delia Smith’s Salmon En Croute Recipe is a delicious and elegant dish that you can make for a special occasion or a festive meal. It is easy to make and can be prepared in advance, saving you time and hassle. The salmon is moist and tender, the pastry is flaky and buttery, and the spinach and cream cheese filling adds a creamy and savory contrast. The herb sauce is a perfect accompaniment that brings a touch of freshness and brightness to the dish. You can serve it with some steamed new potatoes green beans, or any other side dish of your choice. You can also make some variations of this recipe, by using different types of fish, cheese, or herbs. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do, and let me know how it turns out for you!

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