Salmon for Christmas

Christmas equals indulgence. And when it seems like there are more meal occasions in one month than in a whole year, it’s important to avoid being ‘another turkey dinner’ when taking on the task of hosting. Wild salmon from Alaska will set any menu apart. It’s lean, light and luxurious. Whether the menu is one salmon surprise after another or turns on the festive magic for one course only, here’s a few ideas to try this Christmas.


Puff Pastry Pesto Pinwheels with Wild Alaska Salmon


  • 1 x 213g can red or pink wild Alaska salmon
  • Olive oil
  • 1 x 375g pack, ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed if frozen
  • 2 tbsp green or red pesto sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Drain the salmon, discarding the liquid. Remove the skin and bones, if desired. Flake the salmon with a fork
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6. Brush 2 baking sheets with a little olive oil
  • Unroll the sheet of puff pastry and spread the pesto sauce evenly over the surface. Sprinkle the salmon over the top. Roll up the pastry from the long side into a sausage shape, then use a sharp knife to slice it into 18 pieces about 1.5 cm (1/2 inch) thick
  • Lay the pinwheels on the baking sheets, allowing room for expansion. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for a few moments, then serve


Wild Salmon Wellington



  • 2 sides of wild Alaska sockeye salmon
  • 200g young spinach
  • 4 tbsp green pesto sauce
  • 250g roasted red peppers (packed in brine, drained and halved)
  • 2 x 270g packs filo pastry, thawed if frozen
  • 100g butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Remove the skin from the sides of salmon (or ask your fishmonger to do this for you)
  • Put the spinach into a large colander and pour a kettleful of boiling water over it to wilt the leaves. Rinse with cold water and squeeze out the excess liquid
  • Turn one whole piece of salmon over, so that side where the skin was removed is facing up. Spread with pesto sauce. Arrange the spinach evenly on top, then the roasted peppers. Season. Lift the second side of salmon on top to cover neatly (skin-removed side down), so that the filling is sandwiched in between. Season with salt and black pepper
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan oven 180°C, Gas Mark 6
  • Unroll the sheets of filo pastry from 1 pack. Brush each sheet with melted butter and place them, stacked on top of one another, on a large baking sheet or roasting tin (big enough for the salmon). Lift the salmon on top
  • Unroll the second pack of filo pastry, and brush each sheet with butter as before, arranging each one over the salmon, scrunching together at the sides to seal and fit
  • Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, covering with a piece of foil after 15 minutes to prevent the pastry from becoming too brown. Turn off the oven, though leave the fish inside for 20 minutes, so that it cooks a little longer. Cool for at least 20 minutes, then slice and serve.


Smoked Salmon Bruschetta


  • 12 slices smoked wild Alaska salmon
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 slices rustic-style bread
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Rocket or salad leaves
  • 2 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of caster sugar


  • Preheat a char-grill pan or the grill. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over the bread and spread each piece with a little crushed garlic. Char-grill or grill the slices of bread until lightly browned on one side only
  • Arrange a few rocket or salad leaves and the slices of smoked salmon onto the toasted side of each piece of bread
  • Mix together the tomatoes and red onion with the remaining olive oil. Add the balsamic vinegar and caster sugar. Stir well, then spoon some onto each bruschetta. Serve
  • Cook’s tip: Balsamic vinegar gives the best flavour, though you could use red or white wine vinegar as an alternative.


Alaska Salmon on Bubble and Squeak with Parsley Sauce


  • 4 x 125g fillets of wild Alaska salmon
  • 30g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • Any leftover vegetables from Christmas day – potatoes / carrots / broccoli / cabbage / spouts


  • 30g plain flour
  • 30g butter
  • 400ml milk
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the grill. Arrange the fillets of Alaska salmon on the grill rack. Using half the butter, place a small knob on top of each fillet. Grill for 5-6 minutes, then turn the grill off
  • Mix together the spring onions and leftover vegetables. Season, then form into 4 patties
  • Heat the remaining butter and olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the patties and cook for 4-5 minutes, turning once
  • For the parsley sauce, put the flour, butter and milk into a saucepan (all together). Heat, stirring constantly with a small whisk, to make a smooth sauce. Stir in the parsley and season to taste
  • Serve the bubble & squeak patties with the salmon fillets on top, accompanied by the parsley sauce


Wild Alaska Salmon, Cheddar and Chive Grilled Toast


  • 2 x 213g cans red or pink wild Alaska salmon
  • 100g low fat soft cheese with garlic and herbs
  • 50g mature cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 thick slices sourdough or mixed seed bread


  • Drain the canned salmon, discarding the liquid. Remove any skin and bones, if wished, then mash the salmon with a fork
  • Add the soft cheese and about two-thirds of the Cheddar to the salmon. Stir together with the dill or chives and season with a little black pepper
  • Preheat the grill. Spread the salmon mixture over the slices of bread. Sprinkle the reserved Cheddar over the top, then grill for about 5 minutes until melted and bubbling. Serve at once